SOUTH MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Miami police have asked for the public’s help in identifying a man who helped himself to money left in a restaurant’s cash register.
As CBS4 reported first and exclusively at noon, detectives believe this thief has struck before and may victimize people in the future if he is not caught.
South Miami Police Capt. Larry Corbin told CBS4’S Peter D’Oench, “That’s one of our issues. The way he acted and the way he carried himself doing this crime we are sure that this is not his first endeavor doing this crime. We would love to see him taken off the street.”
“This man is very brazen,” said Corbin. “I mean here we have a person going into the business around 9:20 in the morning when there are people out on the street and employees working there. He apparently catches them off guard.”
The burglary occurred on Thursday, July 26th.
Surveillance cameras captured the man entering the Rice Mediterranean Kitchen at 58th Street and South Dixie Highway at 9:19 a.m., as the employees got it ready for opening. On the video, the man goes to a register, opens it, and removes $220 in cash. He then runs out of the restaurant.
Police say he discovered a key by the cash register and used it to open it.
“The restaurant was closed to the public and the door was open because we were trying to trash out over the morning shift. The gentleman just walked in like nothing, one of the guys caught on to this and he turned around and sais ‘oh, I’m just using the bathroom here, I need a glass of water’,” said owner Ali Shabani.
Shabani said he’s disappointed.
“Everybody works hard. I mean, these days to be dishonest, to just walk in and, you know, steal something that is not yours is a dishonest thing to do,” said Shabani who owns seven restaurants in South Florida. “I would like to see him caught and taught a lesson, you know, whatever the law allows because this is not right. We work hard.”
Shabani said he is now taking more safety precautions. He is keeping the back door locked before he opens for business in the morning to prevent intruders from entering.
Corbin hopes somebody recognizes the man and showed CBS4 a collage of video and photographs.
“He appears to have tattoos on both arms, full sleeve tattoos, he has a short growth beard and a low cut haircut, he was wearing a shirt we believed said University of North Dade with a bulldog logo. We’re not familiar with that school,” said Corbin.
Corbin the man appeared to be thin and about 30 years old.
Anyone with information on the sticky-fingered bandit is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS(8477).