Robbing a Restaurant? Make Sure Owner's Not Watching

Restauranteur Notices Burglary In Progress

A burglar in northwest Washington was busted after breaking into a restaurant on U Street through the building's roof.

It happened Feb. 24 at the Duplex Diner.  The restaurant owner happened to be right across the street at the time, having a drink with  a friend.  He knew something was amiss because he saw the restaurant's roof hatch open.

"[The hatch] hasn't been used since a drag queen dropped down through it during our 10th anniversary," said owner Eric Hirshfield.

Hirshfied called police.  A police dog tracked down the burglar.  Hirshfield's office was trashed, but nothing was taken.  Security video also caught the suspect inside the restaurant.

The arrest drew the attention of detectives investigating a series of skylight break-ins that have happened recently along Q Street.  However, police do not believe the same person is responsible.  Investigators say the only similarity between the restaurant bust and the skylight burglaries appears to be how the criminals gained access.

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