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

The co-owners of a high-end sneaker shop in East Point are hoping to inspire their local community by coming back from a devastating break-in.

The store reopened Saturday after thieves rammed a car through the front of their shop and stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise late last year.

The entire break-in was caught on the store’s surveillance camera.

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(Credit: Refresh Atlanta)

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

"These are the oxidized Jordan 4’s, these 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 Saturday.

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In November 2023, the store’s surveillance camera caught 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 open the metal grate, they broke out sledgehammers and battered their way through the door.

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

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

But East Point police didn’t arrive in time to catch them.

The two lost around $100,000 in merchandise and damage to 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 get back, but we just stayed focused and kept pushing forward," Brown said. 

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

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"We're proud to be back open, and we want to help and reach out to the community to try to change the narrative and the mindsets out here," Brown said. 

The two overcame a lot in their early years to become business owners in the first place.

"Unfortunately, I was shot when I was younger, so I want to teach the kids how to stay away from that," Dawkins said. 

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

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

They even hope that for the ones who robbed them.

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"People had to forgive us. As we said, we came from rough backgrounds, and somebody forgave us. And if they didn't, then we wouldn't be here as owners of stores today. So, we don't ever want to shut down an opportunity that we can help somebody change," Brown said. 

No arrests have been made in the burglary, but East Point police have stepped up patrols in the area near the store. 

The pair also want to mentor people to become entrepreneurs themselves. 

"So, anybody looking for some mentorship, or you want to learn about financial literacy, or how to be an entrepreneur? We're here," Brown said. 

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