A Central Austin restaurant has been broken into three times in two and half weeks, and employees believe the business is being targeted.
Chloe Kennedy is the General Manager for Epicerie Cafe and Grocery on Hancock Drive.
“We’ve never had an issue like this before, not even an attempt which makes us feel nervous and scared that somebody is targeting us multiple times.” She said it started July 11th when they first noticed food stolen from their freezer in the back of the restaurant.
Fast forward about a week, “We had a call from the police that our alarm was going off and our front door had been smashed in we had some cash stolen from the restaurant.” That's when they decided to fight back against the suspected burglar and installed multiple security cameras to catch him in action, and they did just that.
Early morning on July 26th, surveillance caught the man combing the parking lot concealing his identity with tube socks on his arms and towels around his head.
He made his way to the door, smashing it, until he could to get to the door knob.
The man quickly entered the restaurant, and seemed to know exactly where to go. “It feels very personal, it does, it feels like somebody that may have been here before, it feels that they knew the area,” Kennedy said.
Within seconds the man is in and out of the café, and for the second time Kennedy said he got away with the cash register drawer. “You're affecting this business, you're affecting everybody that works here, everybody that lives in this community, and you're hurting not just this establishment but people who run it who are here working tirelessly to create a good environment for people to be,” she said.
A last look at the suspect was when he is left the restaurant and seemed to start taking off his disguise.
One of the two details Kennedy hopes to help identify him. She said they believe surveillance from the gas station across the street may have caught him. The other detail she said is DNA. During one of the break-ins the suspect was injured and Kennedy said they were able to collect blood and tissue samples.
Along with the installing security cameras, they are now removing all cash from the restaurant at night.
APD is investigating, if you have any information or recognize the man you're asked to contact them.