Police search for man accused of breaking into restaurants, stealing cash registers

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A bold and fast-moving burglar continues to stay one step ahead of police in several different communities in and around Indianapolis.

Although it’s not clear exactly how many break-ins he’s committed, detectives have been tracking him for at least a month.

In each case, the suspect breaks in a window or glass door of a restaurant before grabbing the cash register then running off.  He’s normally in and out of the restaurant in about 30 seconds. He also appears to be targeting ethnic restaurants, although that hasn’t been confirmed.

In the last two nights, seven restaurant burglaries with nearly identical details were reported in Indianapolis.  Three of those restaurants were Ginza Japanese Steakhouse in the 5300 block of West 38th Street, Los Rancheros in the 7100 block of Georgetown Road and Costa Brava in the 3700 block of North High School Road.

Security video at Ginza Japanese Steakhouse captured clear images of the suspect, who appears to be the same man caught on camera robbing an El Rodeo restaurant in Noblesville in December.

When the manager of Ginza compared the December photo to his security video from Sunday night, his reaction was immediate.

“Same guy! Same face!” said Wee Nguyen.

The manager of Los Rancheros told Fox59 that police detectives showed him a photo of the same man.  Jorge Soto said police told him they think the same man has been responsible for multiple restaurant burglaries.

“I hope the police they get the guy soon and they stop all of these break ins,” Soto said.

Although the burglaries are fast, they don’t always pay off.  At the China Buffet in the 6900 block of Lake Plaza Drive, the cash register was empty when the burglar ran off with it. But at Los Rancheros, the cash drawer contained about $350 when it was stolen.

Detectives with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department are reviewing the same pictures and video to find leads.

Mooresville Police Det. Bradley Yarnell told Fox59 that somebody in the community must know who the man is.  He hopes someone will call in a tip to identify him.

Anyone with information about the man in the pictures is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.

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