WATCH: Pregnant store owner scares off would-be thief with air horn
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) – A pregnant store owner in California recently fought back against a would-be thief, and it was caught on camera.
The woman said she’s grateful for a piece of safety equipment that helped her fend off the suspect in Oakland’s Chinatown.
Eva Liu remembers the details of what happened inside her international shipping store April 25 like it was yesterday.
At around 1:50 p.m., surveillance video shows the man walk toward a pile of packages seemingly with the intention of taking them.
That’s when Liu yelled out.
Liu, who is seven months pregnant, fearlessly grabs an air horn from off her desk and runs after the man.
“I couldn’t afford to be afraid because I wanted to protect those packages from the customers,” she said.
As she chases the man out, the sound of the suspect chucking the hand sanitizer at Liu’s pregnant belly can be heard.
As the man runs away, Liu deploys the air horn.
The sound scared the suspect away and also alerted the nearby volunteer security team, The Blue Angels, who flagged down Oakland police.
Thousands of air horns like the one Liu used were distributed through Oakland’s Chinatown in February 2021 thanks in part to generous donors and the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce.
“At the beginning people were questioning ‘Why should I carry air horns?’” Carl Chan, with the Chamber of Commerce, said. “But, of course, with a few incidents happening, like the one that you are seeing here, it’s actually helping our small businesses.”
During a time when many violent attacks on the Asian American community have been caught on camera, this is an encouraging sign the air horns are working.
“So we were thinking not just distribute them in just Chinatown, but were hoping to distribute them to other communities as well,” Chan said.
Liu and her baby narrowly missed getting hurt by the hand sanitizer bottle.
“I was trying to protect my stomach so I turned, and it hit my ribs,” she said.
Despite her actions, she said the work is far from over to keep Chinatown safe.
“I’d like to see more police officers, especially officers that speak the language,” Liu said.
The suspect in Liu’s case has not been arrested.
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