Local Restaurants Try to Bounce Back After String of Burglaries
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A local restaurant is working to recover after a string of burglaries in the area.
Parma Johnny's Italian Bar and Grill off Lyell Avenue opened for business Monday after being closed over the weekend. The restaurant is one of several that became victims of nearly the exact same crime.
"We are the people that really put our heart and soul into providing a service to our community," said Lori Cueva, Parma Johnny's owner.
As restaurant owners, Lori Cueva and her husband are living the dream.
"After three, four, five months trying to open a business, I sold off jewelry. John and I sold our wedding rings because it was really our dream and we couldn't stop," said Cueva.
After being open just three days in their new location on Lyell Avenue, their nightmare began. She says then, thieves threw a brick through a side door to get in and wiped out all the liquor in the restaurant.
After installing a new security system, even a shatter proof door, Friday night they came back; this time taking thousands of dollars worth of equipment.
"This time they couldn't break the glass so they pushed the door frame in and made their way in," said Cueva. "Within just a very short two-three minutes, they were in the building, took the whole register, took the whole equipment and made their way out the back door."
Not even a block down Lyell Avenue at Stoney's Restaurant, on a Saturday night before Christmas, the same story.
"Someone took a large brick and threw it through the door, came in and went directly to the register. They must have been a huge hurry because they even ripped the cord out. The cord was still in the wall," said Charles Burnham, Stoney's owner.
Burnham runs Stoney's with his wife. The restaurant owners say they are amongst several in the area burglarized the same way.
"It made me feel like someone is just hitting everywhere and they are desperate or whatever they are doing, it's not just an attack on us specifically," said Burnham.
Burnham says they've recovered after paying several hundred dollars in door damages and closing for a day. However for Cueva, recouping from the crime is a long process.
"The criminals don't have much of a headache but I have a big one," said Cueva.
She says opening up for business Monday was challenging. She is hoping this hit doesn't shut their doors for good.
"I hope that we can rise above this so that we don't lose everything because it truly would be everything," said Cueva.
Cueva says they are offering a $1,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.