Chicken fingers: Restaurant robberies related?

news-wayside-chickenThe Wayside Chicken (does anyone really call it Wayside Takeout?) thief came in through the roof and absconded with the safe.

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.


The Wayside theft doesn't sound like the kind of job that could have been pulled without causing a lot of noise and risking visible exposure. Odd that such an elaborate heist could occur at one of the city's busier intersections (there is traffic through JPA/JPAExt/Fontaine 24 hours a day) without detection by a patrolling police cruiser or neighboring residents. Has Cville reached the stage of decline where we all need electronic alarm systems and bars on windows?

They were working on the roof at the back of the building below the heating and cooling system and there was an opening. Sounds like someone knew about this, and also knew how to turn off the security system.

Since they rolled the safe out of Wayside on a bread dolly maybe they looked like delivery guys ?

what happening whit AMIGOS RESTAURANT they closing the restaurant

Bob, I live in the neighborhood. Lived in it for years. People call it either Wayside or Old Virginia Fried chicken, NOT Kentucky.
And, Gasbag, you're right, no cops are patrolling, whicb is why Fry's Spring Beach Club gets broken into so frequently. In the wee small hours of the morning, it seems the cops are all hiding in speed check areas (the Newcomb parking garage entrance, across the street from Walmart, out on 250-E by Luck Stone, in the 29 median just south of Ashwood Blvd, etc.), idling their engines and waiting for revenues sources hurrying on their ways to actual jobs to pass by.

These guys must have balls of steel, or have been high on something. To bust into these places in such high traffic areas? Where were the cops? Especially the Guad on Market St. with the convenience store right next door and the copper HQ right up the street. Brazen!

Yeah, I lost the top to my garbage can on Tuesday evening

I heard this came as quite a shock. The safe had been bolted to the floor and was rolled out on a bread dolly, found in the parking lot on Tuesday morning. The scuttlebutt around the shopping center was that a lot of cash was taken, because all the money from the weekend, after the home game, was still in the safe. Heard no bank drop was made, guess because Monday was a holiday, and that not only money, but other valuable equipment was taken . Sad

unpoliced, yes, Charlottesville has reached the stage of decline where people need electronic alarm systems and bars on windows!!!

Police departments nationwide, including Charlottesville and Albemarle, have assigned so many officers to so many specialized details and assignments that there's very few left to work in the patrol divisions.

Go out riding around one night between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. and count the number of cop cars you see. You can use the first two fingers on one hand to keep an accurate count.

The amatuer thieves and juvenile delinquents own the streets after 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. They are busting the city and county wide open. Breaking into cars, vandalizing cars, stealing anything that isn't bolted down.

When I used to live off Old Lynchburg Road and would occasionally visit the Food Lion on Fifth Street, there was always a cop in there just standing around watching. Probably necessary, as I believe there have been crimes in that parking lot, but should our tax dollars go to pay a cop to stand inside a private business? Gasbag, any insight as to whether Food Lion would have to pay the city for this service?


I believe those officers are paid for by the business parks, I don;t think it all comes out of the taxpayer pay. However, standard patrolling of the streets should be part of the package for businesses and private residences.

I too, have noticed a decline, and the result HAS been higher crime and vandalism. It's really pretty sad, when we consider the tax base in the area, and that we have 7 million dollars to spend on bricks for a fancy food court.

I think the guy with some answers on this is Paul Best, and I know he plans to use the Sheriff's department more aggressively in this area if he gets elected.

And even if the city cops stationed at Food Lion are paid by the businesses, that's one less cop that is available to be assigned to patrol a larger area. Got a funny feeling the city aint back filling for those lost man hours.

"Wayside Take Out". Hey. It's the Old Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) joint on JPA. Nobody knows it as Wayside Chicken or Wayside Take Out.

The cops at Food Lion work there while off-duty, and they are paid by Food Lion. The same is true at Barnes & Noble and many other business establishments around the city and county. There's plenty of off-duty overtime for local cops.

This is not the problem. The problem is the fact so many cops while on-duty have been assigned to specialized divisions and specialized duties so there's very few leftover for the patrol division. I still challenge anybody to ride around Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville and count the number of marked patol cars you pass between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. In my opinion, after 1:00 a.m. or 2:00 a.m., you and your property are on your own. The cops will respond the next morning and take vandalism and theft reports, but that's all you can expect nowadays.

Back as late as the early 70's, there were no "gravy train" assignments. Such as the city and county having 20 cops spread out as school resorurce officers (daylight hours, gravy train jobs). The city and county didn't have specialzed traffic units robbing the agencies of 20 to 25 cops (They pretty much work daylight hours too, another gravy train job). They didn't have JADE units consisting of 20 cops from the city and county (all week day hours, very little weekend work, another gravy train job). A few here and there, assigned to radio communications, assigned to vehicle preparedness and distribution, all these community orientated programs draining the manpower pool, etc... The list of specialized duties just goes on and on. Add it all up in both departments and you will see why there's nobody left to work in the patrol divisions and why the city and county are being ripped a new one after dark.

actually, that's pretty much been my experience Gas Bag. I have had to deal with drunken vandalism and now even a body threat. I am not saying the police didn't respond when called, but I used to see them out there driving around.

A presence matters.

I mean, we see lots of illegal parking that's dangerous, and they never get ticketed because hey, that shift ends at 3PM. Give me a break.