CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – Chandler detectives are searching for fast-moving burglars that targeted five restaurants in the area early Sunday morning during a one-hour window. “Honestly, it looks like a smash and grab,” said Kelly Cooper, the owner of BKD’s Backyard Joint. Cooper shared a surveillance video with Arizona’s Family that captured the thieves in action.
Just before 4 a.m., a white Mercedes can be seen pulling up in the alley. According to Cooper, four suspects hop out of the car wearing masks, gloves and hoodies. We’re told they spray-painted the cameras before busting open a glass door. That’s when they made their way to the office. Surveillance video shows them taking less than 30 seconds to steal a 3-by-3 ft. safe from the room.
“I have a couple of restaurants, and I spend a lot of time trying to make sure that my staff is safe. This was 3 o’clock in the morning. What happens if it was 1 o’clock when the managers are just wrapping up and getting ready to leave?” said Cooper.
Chandler detectives did not release the names or locations of the four other restaurants burglarized. However, we were told all of them had broken windows or glass doors before their cash registers or safes were taken. They believe all businesses were possibly targeted by the same suspects.
“We all work hard. We’ve all gone through two years of suffering and struggling through Covid to come out and have this happen to multiple businesses in the area. It’s not just unfortunate, it’s heartbreaking. This is people’s livelihoods,” said Cooper.
Cooper said he owns three restaurants, and all have been broken into before, but this one is the most organized he’s seen. “You work hard to not have that happen, but here we are,” he said.
BKD is offering a $1,000 reward for tips leading to an arrest. Chandler detectives are following up on leads and asking other agencies if they see similar cases.
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