DULUTH, Ga. — She opened her business to benefit her community, but those hopes were crushed after a celebrity entrepreneur's cellphone repair shop was robbed.
The thieves broke in and stole thousands of dollars worth of new merchandise and equipment that was being repaired.
Kiana Dancie is known across the nation as a comedian, host, media personality, actor and motivational speaker.
So, when she took some of her hard-earned money to open a business for her community, she didn't think she would become a victim of that very community.
"When I came in last night, the door was busted up," Dancie said, pulling at the damaged entrance to the business. "It wouldn't even close."
"It's not like people are writing big checks," she told 11Alive's Deb Tuff. "I am a service-based business. When they see me, they don't even think I deserve to be in this business as a black woman. How dare him! How dare he come in here and steal from me!"
Dancie said it's no laughing matter.
"I fight every day to be here," she said, as tears began to fall. "My mother and I are the only black women in Atlanta in this business. When we need help, we have no one to turn to."
On Tuesday morning, according to police, her business had been broken into.
Images of three men could be seen on surveillance video, ransacking the business, even dragging the store's safe out of the door.
According to Dancie, the culprits got away with more than $15,000 worth of new merchandise that included cellphones, tablets and other merchandise. But, she said the burglars also took items belonging to her customers, also.
"Three guys stealing my customers' memories," she said. "Their videos, their text messages."
"The nerve of him to rob my business and not have on a mask?" she said, referring to one of the burglars who had not covered his face and could be seen on surveillance images. "Right now, everybody is wearing a mask; everybody looks like a robber."
A reward is being offered in the case. Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to contact Gwinnett County Police.