High Point Cafe, Malelani Cafe and Evo Brick Oven Pizza in Mt. Airy were burglarized Aug. 3 and police continued to search for the thieves.
High Point Cafe, Malelani Cafe and Evo Brick Oven Pizza in Mt. Airy were burglarized Aug. 3 and police continued to search for the thieves who broke into the restaurants, taking a total of more than $10,600.
“Our Northwest Detectives are looking for additional leads,” Captain Austin Fraser, of the 14th Police District, said in a phone call to the Local.
Meg Hagele, founder of High Point Cafe, said that she was told about the break-in Thursday morning when her delivery driver called her.
“He discovered the smashed-in door,” Hagele said. “He called me and then the police.”
When Hagele arrived at the cafe she found glass from the front door strewn everywhere.
“The burglars had obviously rooted around,” she said. “There were drawers open; they went into the basement and rooted around the refrigerators. They opened all sorts of cabinets.”
She also said her business doesn’t have security cameras, but that a neighboring business owner had footage of the burglars running down the street with High Point’s cash register drawer around 2:30 a.m.
In the wake of the incident, Hagele said she’s decided to get security cameras for the business.
“We now have to think a little harder about how to protect ourselves,” she said. “It’s clear whoever this was chose smaller businesses with less security measures.”
Janis Risch, executive director of the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District, said that in light of the burglaries her organization is working to organize a workshop for property owners to share best practices for crime prevention, which will include information about how to obtain grants for cameras and other security measures.
“We have to make sure everyone is doing best practices for preventing crime,” said Risch, who noted that “it’s disturbing, but it’s not entirely surprising” that the burglaries happened.
“Crime is a frequent topic of conversation around the other BIDs that I speak with regularly,” she said. “Mt. Airy has been relatively unscathed until now.”
Hagele said it was the first time in 17 years that her store had been burglarized. The only other incident was during the Black Lives Matter protests when the store was vandalized.
“I think that’s been a pretty good run,” Hagele, who is taking a glass-half-full approach to the situation. She even handed out free pastries to residents who stopped by to offer condolences on the day after the break-in.
“It’s been amazing, the outpouring of support from the community,” Hagele said.