MIAMI (WSVN) - Police are investigating a possible arson attack after, they said, someone broke into a Popeyes in West Miami-Dade, stole money and took off running from the burning building.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews responded to the fast food restaurant located along the 6800 block of Southwest Eighth Street, just after 5 a.m., Thursday.
Police said it was after the fire was put out that they discovered it had also been burglarized.
Odiles Dufriene, who said he has been the restaurant’s manager for the past six months, spoke with 7News, Thursday afternoon.
“Someone tried to get through the back and get the money, some kind of burglary going on,” he said.
Cellphone video captured the restaurant’s floor covered in soot and debris. The video also showed where the perpetrator cut through steel to swipe money from the safe.
The front door of the restaurant could be seen with its glass smashed.
Instead of firing up the fryer, employees are flushing out the mess left behind from the early morning break-in.
“We will be closed for business today,” said Dufriene.
The burglar took off with hundreds of dollars from the safe.
Miami-Dade Police are attempting to determine who was responsible and whether or not the fire was intentionally set.
“It’s a sad thing. A lot of people will be missing work and so on, and we’re just trying to get business back in order as soon as we can,” said Dufriene.
The manager of the Popeyes said he hopes to have the drive-thru up and running on Friday, but it might be some time before the restaurant reopens for indoor dining.
If you have any information about this incident that could help police, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.
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