Kokomo police investigate string of business burglaries

KOKOMO, Ind. – The Kokomo Police Department is investigating a string of burglaries reported Tuesday morning.

One of the burglaries was at a local restaurant – Julianno’s. A handwritten sign that reads “closed due to break-in” is posted on a piece of plywood outside the restaurant.

“I’m frustrated for sure but there’s nothing you can do but go on,” said Neal Miller, owner of Julianno’s.

Overnight, someone busted in the front door. Security cameras show a man inside the restaurant for about an hour, flipping over tables, smashing bottles, and even undressing.

“We can tell he was definitely not in the right form of mind,” said Miller.

It’s assumed the burglar cut his hands on the glass from the door and bottles. Miller says there was blood all over his restaurant and for safety purposes he must stay shut down even longer.

“Anything that’s not sealed has to be thrown away so at that point it’s starting all over. We’ve got to smoke our meats again; brisket, pulled pork, baby back ribs, pastrami. (It’s) all trashed,” said Miller.

Besides the thousands of dollars in food wasted, around 300 customers are being turned away each day the restaurant remains closed.

“Four or five days really means a lot to a small, local business that this is their only source of survival,” said Miller.

Kokomo police tell FOX59, during the same overnight hours, thieves hit the Piercing Pagoda in the mall and a jewelry store off E. Hoffer. Detectives believe the same suspects are responsible for both of those break-ins and a separate suspect hit Julianno’s.

Miller says the suspect didn’t take anything from his restaurant, but he wants the stranger to take his advice.

“I feel sorry for him and I hope he gets help,” said Miller.

So far, no arrests have been made.

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