SAN DIEGO — A popular Point Loma bakery is taking the unusual step of locking their doors during business hours after a man reportedly entered the business multiple times while armed with a crowbar.

“We decided to implement a closed-door policy,” said, Susan Madueno, co-owner of Phattie’s Bake Shop. “If an employee is alone and feels scared or threatened, they can close the door and our customers are asked ring the door bell and someone will come out and get them.”

Phattie’s Bake Shop is located in the heart of an up-and-coming area of Point Loma that borders Ocean Beach.  The decor of the award-winning bakery harkens back to 1950’s nostalgia, but the baked goods are all 2023 — gluten free and vegan.

Amid growing safety concerns, however, the bakery says they adopted new measures to protect employees. These came after workers reported several incidents of stealing, screaming and destroying property involving unfamiliar patrons, some of whom appeared to be unsheltered.

At first, Madueno implemented a buddy policy for workers while on-the-clock. The doll-bell policy was added after the incidents with the armed man.

“This unsheltered individual comes in with a crowbar and he just steals things. Now, ordinarily, we kind of look the other way, we let it go,” Madueno said. “But this is a little bit more frightening.”

She did call the police the first time the man with the crowbar came in, but he later went back the same day. The following day, Madueno said he went returned.

“I never thought I’d be sitting here talking about people with weapons coming in!  I mean we are in Point Loma. It is a wonderful community, it’s vibrant,” Madueno added.

Nearby businesses echoed the same concerns and are now trying to help each other.

“We’ve implemented a horn system,” Madueno said, “so if they hear this going off multiple times, they know to be on alert because something has happened.”