Hype Kingdom

Burglary Strikes Hype Kingdom, But Its Founder Vows To Rebound And Inspire

Deshawn J. Snelson, a 23-year-old entrepreneur of the high-end sportswear store Hype Kingdom was burglarized Sunday in L.A. before his grand opening.

AOL reports Deshawn J. Snelson, a 23-year-old Black entrepreneur and founder of the high-end sportswear store Hype Kingdom in Los Angeles, is grappling with the aftermath of a brazen burglary that occurred on Jan. 21. The thieves, who were captured on security cameras, stole an estimated $100,000 worth of shoes, clothing, and other merchandise from the shop located in a Bellflower shopping center.

The burglars, seen by the store’s security cameras at around 4:45 a.m., made away with an estimated $100,000 worth of shoes, clothing, and merchandise. The audacious act involved a gray sedan repeatedly ramming into the shop’s front, followed by 15 individuals rushing in to seize whatever they could carry.

Snelson, known as DJ, arrived at the shopping complex on Lakewood Boulevard to a scene of shattered glass and a significant breach of security. To his astonishment, the burglars had left a car in the showroom that resembled a government vehicle. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department identified the vehicle as a four-door Hyundai Sonata with government plates, possibly affiliated with a U.S. naval recruiting station. However, no theft report for such a vehicle had been filed. The case is under investigation, with no suspects in custody as of Jan. 21.

The incident disrupted what was meant to be a day of celebration, as Hype Kingdom’s second location in Huntington Park was poised for its grand opening just hours after the break-in. Snelson, disheartened by the burglary, took to social media to inform customers of the theft and the damage, and canceled the Huntington Park opening. The entrepreneur is now contemplating the future of the second store, considering its similar location in a relatively secluded shopping complex.

Hype Kingdom has garnered a devoted following for its “highly sought-after and exclusive” sneakers which include Air Jordans, Adidas, and Yeezy. This was not the first time the Bellflower store faced criminal activity, as an attempted break-in occurred days before Christmas, prompting Snelson to fortify the storefront with plywood. The recent burglary left a significant void in the store, with a shattered front and remnants of broken glass scattered on the showroom floor.

Snelson is exploring the possibility of relocating the shop to a more secure site, emphasizing the need for “somewhere safe.” In the interim, he plans to prioritize serving customers through the online retail site, expressing his determination not to be broken by the incident but to return stronger.

Despite the challenges, Snelson remains committed to the positive message embedded in Hype Kingdom’s name: “Help your people elevate.” As a Black entrepreneur from Carson, he sees Hype Kingdom as an inspiration for the South L.A. community. Snelson aims to demonstrate that even in Southern California, people of color can overcome obstacles and realize their dreams.