87ºF

Thieves come up empty during attempted burglary at popular Galveston restaurant

HOUSTON – A popular Galveston restaurant boarded up windows after burglars broke-in and attempted to steal two cash registers.

"They got in a little after 1 a.m. (and) stole a cash drawer that was empty," said The Spot owner Dennis Byrd. "(They) returned a few minutes later in an attempt to steal a second cash drawer that was also empty."

Byrd said the attempted burglary was the reason the restaurant stopped accepting cash on March 18.

"We immediately removed all cash from the restaurant, and we implemented credit card only, both to reduce handling cash with regard to COVID-19," he said. "As well as to get the cash in the bank so we could make payroll."

Byrd said the restaurant has over 75 high-tech surveillance cameras and was able to get high-quality images of the suspects, who were both wearing masks and hoodies.

Galveston police identified one of the men seen in the video as he attempted to leave the scene. Police charged Fabian Dorteo with burglary of a building while his partner-in-crime remains on the run.

Byrd said the restaurant has received tips on the identity of the second person and have handed that information over to the police.

However, Byrd said the break-ins couldn't come at a worse time.

"We're not here to generate a profit. We're here at this time to generate goodwill and preserve jobs," he said.

Bryd said it cost $200 to fix the window and a few hundred to replace the cash drawers.

"The dollars even though they are small, the 200 dollars it's going to cost me to fix the window and the couple of hundred dollars it's going to cost me to replace a cash drawer is dollars.

"That (money) would otherwise be allocated to pay my team," said Byrd.

The restaurant remains open for curbside or delivery.