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Owners devastated after Alameda restaurants burglarized amid pandemic

Bay Area

 ALAMEDA, Calif. (KRON) — Business has already been ravaged by the pandemic, now making matters worse.

Two neighboring Alameda restaurants are recovering from early morning burglaries.

The thieves caused thousands of dollars in damages, but the suspects were at least caught on camera.

Calvin Ton uses a key to enter the front door to his establishment — Monkey King Pub & Grub in downtown Alameda.

He just had it replaced.

That’s because hours earlier — just before 4 a.m., his surveillance cameras captured three people using a torch to shatter the glass doors and break into his business.

“It looked professionally done,” Ton said.

Ton says the suspects made themselves at home.

They emptied more than $1,000 of cash out of the registers before taking off.

“We still had to come back and we had to sanitize the whole restaurant because we’re not sure what it is,” Ton said.

And, it appears the thieves did not go too far.

“It’s another, you know, punch to the gut during 2020 for restaurants,” Scott Herwehe said.

Herwehe and his wife Amy Voisenat co-own the Hobnob Eats and Drinks next door to Monkey King Pub.

Minutes after that burglary set off the alarm, the Hobnob was ransacked and their surveillance system also spotted the thieves in the act.

The two businesses share a wall.

Herwehe and Voisnat believe the same thieves broke through their shared door and got inside.

“It was mostly property damage,” Herwehe said. “They broke into our office and tried to pry our safe.”

The couple says — just like their neighbor — the ordeal will set them back about $1,000 dollars.

During a time when every penny counts.

“This is a tough pill to swallow right now, when you know, we’re all struggling in this industry right now,” Voisenat said.

Small business owners like Doctor Ricardo Dukes says people should be supporting restaurants now and not stealing from them.

“Everybody’s trying to get these SBA loans, you know, and there’s not enough to go around,” Dukes said. “So yeah, I think it’s really unfortunate.”

Ton says revenues are already down 30-percent because his services have been reduced to take-out orders.

“It hurts, it hurts,” he said.

Both restaurants have filed reports with the police department.

And both have resumed serving take-out orders.

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