Burglars ransack East Crossroads restaurants
Burglars broke into three restaurants in the East Crossroads early Friday, smashing through doors, ransacking offices and ripping out surveillance and alarm equipment.
Business owners and managers for Grinders, Mission Taco Joint and International Tap House said they were alerted by their alarm companies around 5 a.m.
"We got a call this morning and the cops were already on the scene," said Jenn Tosatto, bar manager at Mission Taco Joint, at East 18th and Oak streets.
Burglars broke in through a rear door, caused extensive damage and stole various items, including a safe.
Grinders' owner Jeff "Stretch" Rumaner said the first alarm sounded at his business at 5 a.m. A second and third alarm sounded minutes later.
"Someone had broken into the back of the building with a big heavy concrete chunk, rooted through a bunch of our stuff just to get upstairs and steal all of our DVR equipment so that they weren't captured on film," he said. "Not a lot of stuff being stolen but a lot of damage to everybody."
Business owners are working with police to help identify the intruders.
"It's an awful feeling. So many of us think of our workplace kind of like our second home, and this guy violated our home," Tosatto said. "We are going to work very hard to fight and help anyway we can to try to figure this out."
Stretch said this is the 11th time his restaurant has been burglarized since it opened near 18th and Locust streets in 2004.
"The alarms were smashed and the cables ripped out of the wall," he said of the overnight break-in. "I think it was several people, based on the time, but I am not a detective."
Authorities did not have a detailed description of the burglars.
Stretch said other Crossroads businesses have faced similar burglaries in recent months.
Anyone with information should call the Tips Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).