Chicken fingers: Restaurant robberies related?
What do Wayside Takeout, Guadalajara, and Hardee's have in common? Besides fried specialties, all three were broken into after closing on Monday night, October 12; and police believe it could be the work of the same person or persons.
"They all have the same M.O.," says Charlottesville Police Sergeant Marc Brake. "We're pretty confident it's the same, but we're in the early stage of investigation."
A photograph of a suspect caught on a camera outside the Hardee's on 5th Street will be released shortly, says Brake.
At Wayside, known for its fried chicken, the thief came in through the roof and hauled a safe out into the parking lot on a dolly. Brake declines to say how much was in the safe, and does not rule out the possibility that the crime was an inside job.
Liquor was taken from Guadalajara Mexican restaurant on East Market Street, about $400 worth of tequila, vodka, and flavored spirits, says manager Omar Salinas.
"We think it's the people always hanging around back," offers Salinas. "We have security, but it didn't see anything. We never left lights on in the back."
That practice will change, says Salinas, who adds that police did get fingerprints. He believes more than one person was involved in the hooch heist.
Nothing was reported stolen at Hardee's, but the fastfoodery on Fifth Street Extended did sustain damage, says Brake.
That same night, two non-food businesses–- both on East High Street–- were also hit. At Fisher Auto, the license plates were stolen off a company pickup truck. And at Davis Appliance, a used range and dishwasher, valued at $30, both last seen October 9 in the back of a truck in the parking lot, also disappeared.