Series of Pilsen burglaries has community on high alert

FOX 32 NEWS - A rash of break-ins in the Pilsen neighborhood have business owners on alert and concerned that the situation could escalate, and that the same man may be involved in several other burglaries as well.

FOX 32 spoke to several restaurant owners about the series of break-ins, not just overnight when four of them happened, but going back a week or more when other establishments were targeted, including possibly a home nearby.

The targeted businesses are all on or around 18th street, and the number of them appears to be growing. Among those hit over night is Memo's Hot Dogs, where the burglar pried open a front window and slipped inside sometime between 3:00 and 5:00 AM.

“All they took was about $30 worth of change, they didn't take anything else. There were other things of value that they could've taken, iPad or whatever they didn't touch any of that,” said owner Gerardo Garza.

Garza said his security video shows a man with his face covered, with a hoodie and gloves ransacking his restaurant.

In talking to other business owners and police, he said it appears the same man who hit Don Churro's last week may be responsible for more than half a dozen other break-ins in Pilsen.

Also overnight, right across the street from Memo's, the Pilsen Breakfast and Grill was hit as well, and also the Jumping Bean coffee shop just down the street. All with minimum payoff, but the burglar is taking a huge risk, according to the owner of Memo's.

“A lot of businesses have the owners, they will live inside the building you know and there's a break in, their going to protect their property they don't know what the guys up to,” Garza said.

FOX 32: You're saying he's risking getting shot?

“Getting shot, he's risking great injury, he is risking jail time if he gets caught on this,” Garza said.

And the same man could be hitting more than businesses. A homeowner captured a suspect climbing her back fence Saturday night.

“He jumped it, he climbed over and he didn't successfully get into our garage, but he went down the connecting steps and he broke into my dad's garage,” said Lucia Villarreal.