“Save your time.”
That’s what Keith Stephenson, 52, spray-painted on the plywood that covered the shattered bulletproof glass after his business, Purple Heart, was ransacked amid a crime spree adjacent to last summer’s civil rights protests in Oakland, California.
“I was telling them, ‘There’re nothing here, just save your time,’” he said during a phone interview with Ganjapreneur. “Let me help you by phrasing this message for everyone to see. Just save your time. There’s nothing here. They beat you to it.”
Stephenson, the proprietor of Purple Heart, Oakland’s longest-running cannabis retailer, said he feels “an extreme amount of frustration” when he sees the 12 letters in white spray paint across his shattered door. He also used the words “vulnerability,” and “heartfelt loss” while comparing the business to “a child.”
While watching the security feed on the evening of Friday, May 29, Stephenson saw someone inside the foyer of his store – who had entered through the glass front door splintered during the unrest – but was kept from the main area by the bulletproof glass door. The individual left without incident and Stephenson called the police who responded, despite already dealing with “pandemonium and social disorder at the highest level.”