Owner asking for help identifying men who broke into River Oaks restaurant
HOUSTON – One restaurant executive chef is asking for your help in identifying these men who broke into his kitchen early Friday morning.
"I want to know who this is. I want them to get caught. I want them to realize that nobody messes with us," said Grant Keaton, executive chef and general manager of Piggy's Kitchen & Bar.
Keaton spent his whole life pursuing his dream of becoming a head chef and leading a restaurant. He worked with a team to bring Piggy's Kitchen & Bar to the River Oaks area.
"This is pretty much our brainchild. We've developed this fun, dynamic restaurant for people to come and enjoy some drinks and share food," said Keaton.
The place has only been open for four months but it was well-received, and Keaton said he and his team worked hard to make it a welcoming and friendly environment.
"This is the neighborhood bar. We built it in the River Oaks and Montrose -- this is their backyard with all these high-rises -- bring your dog, bring your family, bring whatever, just come on in and be part of our family. This is a family," said Keaton.
Friday around 4:30 a.m., Keaton said two men broke into the restaurant through the side door and ransacked the office, taking money and liquor. A third man, he said, drove a getaway car.
"They broke into the side door. They made their way to my kitchen, which is basically my sanctuary," said Keaton. "They used a sledge hammer and a crowbar and about six swift kicks to get through a steel door this thick."
The burglary was all caught on surveillance video. One of the suspects looked directly at the camera. Keaton said the men took hundreds of dollars in tip money and six bottles of Patron. He said the third man drove a silver SUV.
"Number one, I want these guys to be caught. Number two, I want this to stop," said Keaton. "It's a hindrance; it's an intrusion. It really really sets you back, especially when you're new, and you're building a name and now someone's like, 'Now you're a target.'"
Keaton said in the last two years, he's experienced four break-ins in the restaurants he's worked at.
"It's an epidemic hitting restaurants and bars all over Houston," said Keaton. "We've had enough. We've absolutely had enough."
Keaton spent the day replacing the locks and repairing the doors and the security systems.
"It's been a tumultuous day. It's been tough," said Keaton.
However, Keaton said he appreciates the people who continue to support the business even during times like this.
"It means the world," said Keaton. "It'll allow us to know that we have the support of the community to keep doing what we're doing and they appreciate what we're doing."
Anyone who knows anything about this incident is asked to call Houston police or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).
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