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California businesses threatened with arson over COVID rules

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SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KRON) — Two California businesses have been facing backlash over COVID-19 restrictions. 

Notes have been left behind by someone threatening to burn the Marin County businesses down over their health rules. The threats have come as the county is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases. 

A ‘menacing’ message was recently taped to the door of Body Kinetics Health Club. It read: “If the vaccine mandate isn’t lifted within one week, this place burns.”

Owner Michael Jenkins said the threat was found at the business Sunday morning after someone stuck it on the door the night before. He said he understands some people’s frustrations over COVID-19 restrictions, but threatening arson is going way too far.

He said he’s not only concerned by the threat but confused by it. The club has been following the county’s current health guidance, but there’s no vaccine mandate.

Just days before, a ‘nasty’ handwritten note was found, and a similar threat popped up at the Papermill Creek Saloon in Forest Knolls. 

Manager Jared Litwin said the bar has had a strict vaccination policy and recently warned customers on social media about positive COVID cases among some customers and musicians. 

Marin County overall has seen an uptick in cases post-Thanksgiving. As of Thursday, it was the only Bay Area county under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s high transmission category. 

In response to the threats, more security measures will be taken at Jenkin’s Health Club. An outdoor camera and more floodlights will be installed. 

The owners of both businesses hope people can understand these rules are meant to keep people safe.   

The saloon is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and a conviction of the suspect. 

Marin County deputies and San Rafael police are investigating.

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