A typed letter posted on the front door of a shop in Torrance has become evidence in a hate crime investigation Tuesday.
The letter reads: "We want you to move out." It also goes on to threaten violence.
The owner of the Japanese cookware shop says it's is the worst type of racism he’s experienced since he moved to California.
Local news from across Southern California
An employee found the letter Monday that threatens, “go back to Japan…. We are going to bomb your store if you don’t listen and we know where you live.”
The owner – who asked that we not identify him or his shop -- says the threat feels very real. He’s owned this store for nine years.
He moved to the United States when he was 63 after decades of running a business in Japan. He chose the South Bay after visiting on vacation.
"I'm disappointed to see such a poster, because I love America," he said.
Torrance police have the original letter. Officers and security at the shopping center are keeping a close eye on this business. The employee who found the note, Hiro, says he’s still in shock over the blatant racist threats.
Both men said in nine years of business they’ve never experienced such hateful words against them.
"I know it’s a hate crime. I don’t know about if they just don’t like Japanese or asian, because we’re selling authentic Japanese tools," Hiro said.
Detectives are trying to find whoever is responsible for the racist letter. The owner says he doesn’t have security camera around his store, despite the fact that he sells high end custom Japanese cookware.
He said he didn’t want customers to feel watched, but now that he’s the victim of an apparent hate crime. He decided to add cameras after receiving the letter, but he says his store will stay open.