Home » Theft Causes Rich City Rides in Richmond to Close Indefinitely

Theft Causes Rich City Rides in Richmond to Close Indefinitely

by CC News
Rich City

A Richmond Bike Shop was hit with a thousands of dollars after a burglary cleared out their shop earlier this month.

According to Najari Smith, co-owner of Rich City Rides Bike Skate Shop, on January 13, he entered the bike shop to discover most of the sales floor completely cleared out. The store, located at 1500 MacDonald Ave, Unit C in Richmond CA, is closed indefinitely.

“The shelves, once stocked with bicycle locks, lights, bells, and other retail products, were bare, and the display cases were empty. There was no sign of forced entry, and the internal cameras had been unplugged. In a state of shock, I went to the storage area in the back of the shop; I learned that most of the inventory had been stolen,” said Smith said on Facebook.

On Tuesday, Smith said the loss was estimated at $13k.

“We’re still gathering more information on the stolen inventory. Currently, it’s estimated at just a little over $13k at wholesale. Mostly, the smaller expensive, easy-to-carry items were stolen. This number could change as we gather more info. The total debt is $186,041.99,” stated Smith. “There was no sign of forced entry, and the internal cameras were unplugged. Someone changed my password and I had to call ADT while I was in the shop to verify that I was the business owner.”

Smith said he plans to reopen the store sometime in the future while bringing it back to Downtown Richmond which is why a GoFundMe was launched.

Here is their GoFundMe message for Rich City Rides:

On Saturday, January 13th, I entered the bike shop to discover most of the sales floor completely cleared out. The shelves, once stocked with bicycle locks, lights, bells, and other retail products, were bare, and the display cases were empty. There was no sign of forced entry, and the internal cameras had been unplugged. In a state of shock, I went to the storage area in the back of the shop; I learned that most of the inventory had been stolen.
The only way this could have been done is with access to a key and the ability to disarm the alarm system.
Three days prior to the break-in, following ongoing hardships with maintaining the business, on Thursday, January 11, 2024, with the help of Coop Law Group and Cooperation Richmond, I drafted a plan to dissolve the cooperative.
Hi, my name is Najari Smith, and I’m a co-owner of Rich City Rides Bike Skate Shop, a shop built to fill a void in community bike infrastructure. As a member of the Richmond Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, I worked with my fellow committee members to bring hundreds of bike racks, blocks of bicycle boulevards, and many miles of bike lanes to Richmond, CA, but I and three friends embarked on a mission to answer a crucial question that shined a light on an important piece of bicycle infrastructure that was missing from the inner city, “Where do you go when your bike breaks or you catch a flat?” We provided an answer with the founding of the Rich City Rides Bike Skate Shop Coop.
Founded in 2014 with the help of the Missing Link Bicycle Cooperative, The Pedaler Bike Shop, Cooperation Richmond, The Seed Commons, and a ton of support from the neighborhood and the greater Bay Area cycling community, the shop grew from meager beginnings to a staple amongst the community. In 2015, we added a 5th member, naming them an honorary founding member. In the years following, we grew in name and legend as a special magic light in a city with a tough, rugged past. Our beloved neighborhood bike shop provided a space for free community bicycle repair workshops, exciting events, and a starting point for Self Care Sunday bicycle parades that celebrated the many parks throughout Rich City, California.
Sadly, after nearly a decade of operation and experiencing one of our best years during covid, post covid we had a lot of trouble maintaining sales for a number of different reasons, leading to a staggering debt amounting to over $185,000 from years prior, including $58,580 in debt resulting from an incident with a co-owner.
After years with a small team of only two or three down from our fantastic founding five and seemingly insurmountable debt, our intention was to liquidate the remaining inventory to pay our debtors and dissolve the cooperative. I learned a lot on this journey. It’s been quite a ride. I plan on reflecting on what went right and what we could have done better. What I don’t plan on doing is quitting.
The recent theft threw a monkey wrench in our plans, but with your help and the help of supporters everywhere who believe in the power of local extra small businesses to transform communities, we know we can come back stronger than ever.
Help us turn a setback into a bounce back.
To Donate to Rich City Rides – click here

For more business news, click here.
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3 comments

D January 30, 2024 - 8:50 am

Look at your business partner!

Street Sweeper January 30, 2024 - 8:52 pm

Nothing fishy about this at all. And a gofundme panhandle to boot.

Jason J Woody January 30, 2024 - 8:59 pm

That’s my bike hanging up in the picture and that’s exactly how the shop was before the alleged incident. I say that because no theft ever occurred. Najari has not been a part of the day to day operations of the shop for months, he runs the non profit and only claimed the theft to illegally change the locks on the workers. It’s unfortunate he’s chosen to lie about this and other financial matters but the truth will come out eventually!

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