Brazen Burglars Hit Tribeca Restaurant in Early-Morning Heist

Left: Owners of Dahlia's say this image from a restaurant surveillance video captures a man in the act of committing a burglary early Friday morning, July 17. (See video below.) Right: Workers found the glass of a restaurant door on Harrison Street shattered when they arrived for work. Photos: Courtesy of Dahlia's (left); Luis Morales (right)

Jul. 18, 2015

Dahlia’s, the Mexican restaurant at the corner of Greenwich and Harrison Streets in Tribeca, was struck by burglars early Friday morning, July 17.  The thieves took more than $9,000 in cash that had been locked away in the basement office, according to the owners.

In surveillance video shown to the Trib the next day (see video below) and yet to be viewed by police, one of the men, who looks to be in his 20s and wearing a “Brooklyn” tee shirt, can clearly be seen as he casually moves about the office for more than 30 minutes, beginning around 3:30 a.m., occasionally talking on the phone and at one point putting what appears to be cash in a bag. A second man, less visible, is captured by another camera in a back room of the eatery.

The owners, Pedro Reyes and Huascar Then, told the Trib that the thieves broke a lock to get into the office and drilled through a padlock to open a cabinet containing Friday's payroll. The money from a cash register drawer, kept overnight in the office, also was taken, the owners said, as well as three bottles of tequila valued at $500.

When workers arrived around 7 a.m. Friday morning, they found the glass of a door on the Harrison Street side of the restaurant shattered and the door pushed open. They called Reyes who then notified the police.

The owners said the burglars must be connected to one of their employees because of their apparent familiarity with Dahlia’s.

“They went straight to where we keep the money,” Then said. “They broke the door, they knew what they were looking at and they were talking to someone [on the phone].” Then, who is also the restaurant’s general manager, said the drill used to break the cabinet lock belonged to the restaurant and was kept with tools in a separate room.

“They really knew the place,” Then said.

The owners and a police source said they so far have no suspects.

Reyes said that although his restaurant in Queens had been burglarized twice, he didn’t think the Tribeca location would be hit.

“We don’t have a gate because this is Tribeca,” he said. “It’s very safe.”

Below are clips of surveillance video of the burglary. It was shot off of the phone screen of restaurant general manager Huascar Then, with his permission.


See video