Xanath windows
Screencap of Xanath's security cameras. The three men seen here were recorded tagging the shop's windows. Photo courtesy of Juan San Mames.

The owner of a longtime Mission ice cream shop, Xanath, is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of three men who have vandalized his storefront twice within one year. 

Juan San Mames, 72, is the owner of Xanath Ice Cream at 951 Valencia St. between 20th and 21st. He has posted videos of his windows being tagged with unknown chemicals, his locks being glued shut, and his door being jammed with sealing foam by three men at different periods.

San Mames said that the same men are involved and feels that his shop is being specifically targeted — for reasons he does not know.

“We are not Starbucks — we are a mom-and-pop operation. It’s just mean and it’s sad,” San Mames said.

The security camera footage, posted to the shop’s Facebook page, shows three men defacing the windows and the aftermath of the vandalism. 

The first incident occurred on Aug. 26, 2018 at 12:38 a.m. Four cameras in his shop captured the moments when three men walked past his store and two of them tagged his windows with an acid-like chemical that proved impossible to remove. The men, wearing black hoodies and jackets, stop and tag his windows with an unknown object before running away.

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San Mames plastered pictures of the men on his windows after he reported them to police.

But this year, on Sept. 23 at 1 a.m., his security cameras caught another man walking up to his front door and testing the door handle before vandalizing the window. The man, wearing a grey jacket with its hood all the way up, can be seen tagging all of the windows before leaving the scene.

San Mames believes the taggers used some sort of acid-based chemical pen to mark the windows.

YouTube video

Additionally, during the latest vandalism this September, the door locks were jammed with glue and the door frame was lathered with some sort of expanding foam that forced San Mames to pry the door open.

“We have full video from every angle. There are four cameras, but they’re bold they just don’t care. They’re just going at it,” San Mames said. 

The windows are severely damaged as a result of tagging with an unknown chemical, resulting in permanent damage; it’ll cost him $6,000 to replace them. He’s hoping that anyone with information can come forward and he’s offering a $2,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Originally from Spain, San Mames said he started the ice cream shop after his main business, an import company specializing in vanilla bean and saffron imports called “Vanilla Saffron Imports,” relocated to Potrero Hill due to high rents. He opened the ice cream shop 10 years ago and uses some of the ingredients he imports.

Though he owns the building, the recent tagging has not affected his business that much. But he’s grateful for the community’s support. 

“The community, the regular customers keep coming back even if the windows look like crap,” San Mames said.  “Hopefully they catch these guys.” 

A current photo of Xanath’s front windows. It’ll cost the shop’s owner, Juan San Mames, $6000 to replace. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.

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  1. Campers,

    This is a great case to begin the future.

    I was a Special Ed teacher working with SED’s.

    That’s short-hand for ‘Severely Emotionally Disturbed’.

    I’m betting these guys could have been my middle-school students.

    Twenty years ago, I don’t recognize any of em.

    Guy in front is alpha dog who did worst damage in filmed vandalism.

    One has a very distinctive bit of art work on the bill of his hat.

    One has very distinctive sweatshirt stencil which cops should I
    For cops …

    You get extra points from me for busting whomever hired these guys.

    They did the liquor store at 16 and Mission with the glued-lock thing.


    An ice cream store?

    What’s link?

    Well, both proprietors are immigrant brown people.

    The perps are white.

    I’m thinking skin heads.

    Used to be a group of them in Tenderloin somewhere around
    Larkin and …. ?

    Check your mug shots from that group.

    Maybe making their bones and bit of cash on the side.

    Avalos in D-11!

    Evangelista for SF Superior Court Judge!

    Buttar for Congress!!!

    Go Niners!


      1. Restorative justice where we meet with those involved and forgive is the best approach to solving these issues in our community.

        1. What happens if the perpetrator, forgiven as well as ostensibly repentant, actually returns to commit another harmful act/criminal act? Is Restorative Justice used again? How restorative is it really if the perpetrator does not genuinely feel any remorse deep down? What are statistics on recidivism after RJ has been used?

  2. People with nothing better to do than screw up other’s lives. It’s immature, I bet those vandals would whine to no end if someone messed them up.

  3. Young, entitled dudes.

    It’s always the same, they’re always young males. Insecure, weak, negative and counterproductive. Confused and broken.

    If they survive much longer, pretty soon they’ll be old and wonder what the hell they were doing spreading such pointless misery to other people struggling to live their lives the best they can.

  4. Campers,

    Same group hit liquor store at 16th and Valencia few months ago.

    Maybe hired by competing businesses or maybe just on their own for those outlets?

    No other reason I can think of.

    Go talk to the outlets who have cameras and have not been hit.

    These guys ain’t destitute tweakers.

    They’re on a mission and are probably getting paid.

    Go Niners!