The owners of award-winning restaurant Reef have reason to celebrate Tuesday after a team of serial burglars was caught red-handed, putting an end to a string of break-ins that plagued the Midtown eatery for months.
According to Kese Smith with the Houston Police Department, three suspects used a crowbar to break through the restaurant's front door just before midnight on Monday.
"This was the fourth time this has happened since November," said Reef co-owner Bill Floyd. "We were getting pretty pissed about it."
Two witnesses who live in the area — one of whom an off-duty HPD officer — heard the restaurant alarm and investigated the scene, spotting the burglars in action as they loaded a flat screen television and a stash of liquor into a gold Crown Victoria. The off-duty officer radioed police about the incident, while the other witness reported the getaway car's license plate number via 911.
A responding HPD vehicle apprehended the suspects in the Crown Vic several blocks away. Burglary charges are pending.
"They'd always run off the same stuff — the flat screen and the same 10 bottles of booze. It was usually just vodka, but we were getting pretty pissed about it. Every time these guys would get in, we'd be out $900 after fixing the door and replacing the TV and liquor."
After hearing reports of similar burglaries at other Midtown establishments, Floyd said he suspects the arrests will have restaurant owners sleeping easier in the new year.