Fifteen thousand dollars. That is the first quote Confidential Coffee owner Denise Maldonado received to cover the cost of a security gate that would protect her business.

A hefty price to pay but perhaps a necessary one. On Monday, October 23, at 1:30 a.m., the coffee shop located at 137 W. 6th Street experienced its eighth break-in in five years and the third within the last two months.

Broken glass from the most recent break-in at Confidential Coffee. – photo courtesy of Denise Maldonado

“I pay an additional cost to be in downtown,” says Maldonado, who now questions the purpose of the additional cost. As her frustration rises, she is not sure if the Long Beach Police Department can provide solutions. “I’m not surprised that I have a pile of police reports, and they’re not doing anything about it,” she says.

The city does have a grant program that will help cover the cost of damages caused by situations such as break-ins. Business owners can apply once every six months.

Austin Metoyer, the President of the Downtown Long Beach Alliance, visited with Maldonado today. She says while she had to pay to have the first two windows repaired, DLBA boarded the latest window as a “favor” and she is hopeful the organization can assist with finding a grant to cover the cost of repairs for the last four break-ins.

Maldonado also says after the latest break-in, Long Beach Police also coordinated with DLBA to conduct tree trimming in front of the business to provide more visibility and deter would-be robbers. It is the first time Maldonado has experienced a proactive response to the repeated attacks on her business.

The coffee shop owner created a GoFundMe page to help raise money to cover the costs of repairs and the installation of a security gate. She is also asking anyone with information regarding the suspects to contact local authorities.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that DLBA boarded up a window targeted in Confidential Coffee’s latest break-in, and that police coordinated with the association to trim the trees in front of the business.