High-end East Point sneaker store owners hope to turn brutal burglary into comeback story

High-end East Point sneaker store owners hope to turn brutal burglary into comeback story

The co-owners of a high-end sneaker store in East Point hope to inspire their local community by coming back from a devastating burglary.

The store reopened Saturday after thieves crashed a car in front of their store and stole tens of thousands of dollars in merchandise late last year.

The entire break-in was filmed by the store’s surveillance camera.

(Credit: Update Atlanta)

Inside Refresh Atlanta on Main Street in East Point, owners Baldwin Dawkins and Richard Brown carried FOX 5 in their rare sneaker case.

“These are oxidized Jordan 4s, they just came out today,” Dawkins said.

The two entrepreneurs specialize in high-end sneakers, clothing and even skateboards.

They opened the store in February 2023, but had their grand reopening on Saturday.

In November 2023, the store’s surveillance camera captured a violent break-in.

In the video, a group of thieves could be seen ramming a car into the front door.

When that wasn’t enough to break the metal gate, they pulled out sledgehammers and smashed their way through the door.

Dawkins and Brown watched in horror as it unfolded live on their security app.

“As soon as we saw people coming in, we called the police,” Dawkins said.

But East Point police did not arrive in time to arrest them.

The two men lost approximately $100,000 in merchandise and damaged the store.

But they said they were determined not to let the shocking crime stop them.

“We really didn’t know how we were going to come back, but we stayed focused and kept moving forward,” Brown said.

After six months of discussions with the insurance company, they were finally able to make the necessary repairs and reopen.

“We’re proud to be open again and we want to help and reach out to the community to try to change the narrative and the mindsets here,” Brown said.

Both men overcame a lot in their early years to become business owners.

“Unfortunately, I was shot when I was younger, so I want to teach kids how to avoid that,” Dawkins said.

So they weren’t going to let a burglary stop them from achieving their dreams.

And now they hope to inspire others to overcome extreme obstacles.

They even hope that for those who stole them.

“People had to forgive us. Like we said, we came from tough backgrounds and someone forgave us. And if they didn’t, we wouldn’t be here as store owners today So we never want to close an opportunity that we can help someone change,” Brown said.

No arrests were made in the burglary, but East Point police increased patrols in the area surrounding the store.

The duo also wants to mentor people to become entrepreneurs themselves.

“So, is anyone looking for mentorship, or wanting to learn more about financial literacy or how to become an entrepreneur? We’re here,” Brown said.

Brown told FOX 5 they hope to welcome interns into the store as soon as possible.