String of break-ins reported at businesses in Houston's East End

Sunday, February 4, 2018
String of break-ins reported at businesses
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String of break-ins reported at businesses in Houston's East End.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- At least five break-ins were reported in just a few hours this week at businesses in Houston's east end.

Among the places targeted were two high-profile restaurants, a brewery, coffee shop, and a nail salon.

Maldives Nails security video shows a man breaking the front door in with a rock and shattering the glass. He strolls through the business, opening doors, and concludes the break-in by taking only a cupcake that had been left by the register. Nothing else was taken.

The same suspect is believed to have smashed a window several blocks away at El Tiempo. Each cash register was damaged beyond repair.

"They were hammered, they were broken-in, there were no more cash registers left," said assistant general manager Lupita Perez. "There was no cash in them to take. We don't keep cash."

He didn't resort to stealing anything.

"Not a bottle of liquor was touched," she said. "And he didn't take any food."

He did rip out the wires to the security cameras, but the trail resumed just across the street at Ninfa's on Navigation.

Security cameras recorded his entry, once again made by breaking a glass door panel with a rock. From there, the man, who wore a plaid zippered jacket, made his way into the restaurant. He found the office door -- which was locked -- by crawling through the ceiling.

The video shows him trying to open the safe and then turning his attention to a file drawer, which he opened then closed. He opened another cabinet, grabbing iPads and some spare change.

"About 90 cents was in there. He took that and a couple of iPads that the servers use," said general manager Jon McAloon. "But he also gave us a great picture of his face."

He was gone before police arrived.

"I'm just glad nobody was in the building at the time. At the end of the day, that's what matters."

Back on Canal, Moon Towers Inn reported a break-in.

"He broke through two doors," said owner Evan Shannon. "All that we can figure out was taken was about $4 in quarters."

The same area east of downtown was targeted by a five member team of burglars several months ago. In those cases, they got away with some cash and goods, but probably far less than they expected to find.

The restaurants are stepping up security, including even more cameras. All have alarm systems.

If you recognize the man in the video, you can call Houston police, or any of the businesses affected.