Police investigating series of KCMO restaurant break-ins

Posted at 10:06 PM, Nov 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-30 23:46:48-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Police are investigating a series of restaurant break-ins where the suspected thief goes after cash and certain electronics. 

Security cameras captured a masked man attempting to break-in into the Teocali Mexican Restaurant Monday around 4 a.m., but his crowbar couldn't pry open the door made out of metal.

"There he is -- keeps tugging on that door," Enrique Gutierrez, the co-owner of Teocali said describing the surveillance footage. 

The thief also clipped the wires to the alarm system and motion detectors.

When he failed at Teocali he moved next-door to the Antler Room.

Co-owner Leslie Goellner said the suspect stole $1,200 in cash and her laptop filled with photos taken over a decade.

The thief also struck Succotash down the street.

Succotash's owner, Beth Barden, told 41 Action News Thursday she believes these recent break-ins are linked to a string of restaurant burglaries back in September. In those, Bluestem, Pot Pie and Room 39 were hit.

Police said they are all under investigation.

"Right after the ones in Westport we got a Nest cam, we started taking all our stuff with us and then it was about a month and we started getting comfortable again and stopped doing all of those things," Goellner said.

She suspects the thief is an insider but not necessarily an employee of any restaurant. 

"Maybe someone who cleans hood systems or person who cleans grease traps or someone who is familiar enough," Goellner said.

Nonetheless, these restaurateurs simply want this unsavory crook caught.  

"There are so many restaurants out there that we work so hard to get where we're at," Enrique Gutierrez said. "For somebody to come in and just wipe your dreams it's a sour taste in your mouth

Police said they're making significant progress in solving these break-ins.

If you have any information call KCPD or the KC Crimestoppers Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).