NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - The owner of a deli in Northeast Miami-Dade is reeling after a burglar broke into the business on two occasions over the weekend and took off with cash, not just from the register, but from collection boxes.
Surveillance cameras captured the masked crook, who was wearing a Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School hoodie, making his way to the cash register at Etzel Itzik Astoria Deli, Sunday morning.
“Now he’s with a flashlight, so he could see better,” said Itzak Younis, the owner.
The security footage captured the same subject, this time not wearing a face mask, Monday morning.
Younis took a 7News crew through his popular deli along West Dixie Highway, Monday night, where he has served Israeli cuisine for more than 20 years.
The owner said the burglar helped himself to the restaurant’s earnings and also swiped cash from collection boxes left for customers to donate to as a tradition. That money, Younis said, goes to local Jewish charities.
The owner said the thief used a tire iron to break into the restaurant on Saturday.
Although there is surveillance video of the burglar entering the deli, he was partially blocked by the air conditioning unit once he was inside.
“He took [the tire iron], and he dumped it in the trash, which I can see in the video,” said Younis.
Younis said he went to the trash and retrieved the crowbar, but he said the burglar would not need it when he returned to the business on Monday. Instead, he walked into an unlocked back door.
What the crook didn’t know, Younis said, was that there was already an employee inside preparing to open the deli.
Younis said the employee was in the restroom at the time, but once he came out, he came face to face with the perpetrator.
“The guy came out of the bathroom, and he saw him,” he said, “so he went like this, and he ran away.”
However, two businesses across the street from the deli said the same crook most likely targeted them, as well.
Those at Dixie BBQ shared surveillance video of the crook attempting to break into the restaurant’s back door. The video shows that the crook apparently cut himself and winced in pain while trying to get into the establishment.
“He tried to play around with the top lock and the bottom lock,” Or Levi, an employee at Dixie BBQ, said. “I’m assuming that he cut himself somewhere near the top. There was a little blood.”
However, Avanti Cleaners, the business next door to Dixie BBQ, would not be so lucky.
Rusy Porto said the bandit busted their lock, which has since been replaced, but the crook raided the business’ cash register and took all of the money inside.
“They break this and this,” she said. “He took all the money. It’s very sad.”
She said the crook also took an air conditioning unit that was stored in the back by the compromised door.
“I’m hoping that they catch the guy, especially for all the restaurants, for all the Jewish community that come out here to enjoy the restaurant,” Levi said.
Before he fled the deli, surveillance cameras captured his uncovered face, something Miami-Dade Police detectives will use as they continue their investigation.
“That is what’s hurt me, the violation of what he did,” said Younis. “This is the last thing you need.”
The owner said the crook stole money from pouches near the register, as well as change from register trays, in addition to the cash from the collection boxes.
If you have any information on these burglaries or the thief’s whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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