For the past eight years, Jumpolin owners Monica and Sergio Lejarazu have been selling piñatas and other party supplies from their shop on Cesar Chavez.
Tuesday morning, Sergio Lejarazu drove by and saw the crews tearing down the business – with everything still inside.
“I don’t know what happened because we don’t receive any information about the demolition,” Monica Lejarazu said.
City investigators say the owner of the property had the proper permits for the demolition and any losses would be a civil issue.
The business owners say they have two more years on the lease and had no idea the building was going to be torn down.
“We are people with no importance for them. They don’t think we have rights at all,” Sergio Lejarazu said.
Monica Lejarazu says she and her husband lost thousands of dollars of property, which people passing by say the demolition crew was giving away.
“My son’s birthday is next week and I said, ‘Well, can I take some?’ and the gentleman says, ‘Sure, go ahead,’” passerby Alyssa Marvins said.
Marvins says when she saw others loading their cars with piñatas, she came back to try to pay for the ones she took.
“It’s a Tinkerbell, a SpongeBob and a Smurf upside down that I was given permission to take,” Marvins said.
The business owners’ daughter, Emilia Lejarazu, says she can’t believe something like this would happen.
“When I see this, I just see my parents’ blood, sweat and tears just destroyed,” she said.
Even though the store is gone, Monica Lejarazu says she’ll be back.
“I will start again at another location,” she said. “Not tomorrow, but I’m working again and will survive."
We reached out to the property owner and the company on the demolition permit, but neither returned our calls.
The store owners say they have been in contact with their attorney.