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Video shows suspect steal wallet from restaurant owner

SAN DIEGO – Police warn of a brazen thief who posed as a customer and stole from a local Japanese restaurant.

A man calmly walked into Ichiro Japanese Restaurant in Kearny Mesa Tuesday evening. The owner said the man pretended to be a customer when he asked for a table, but before sitting down, said he needed to use the restroom.

Restaurant owner Junko Sakai showed FOX 5 surveillance video of the man's actions.

“It happened less than 10 minutes. Here he is coming in front door,” said Sakai while pointing to the video.

The video showed the man head straight for Sakai’s office, steal her cell phone and wallet. As casual as he came in, he walked back outside, Sakai said.

Sakai's credit cards, cash, social security card and other identification were gone. She said she needs those cards to return to Japan in two weeks for the funeral of her 95-year-old father.

She told police Thursday the suspect used her ATM card to withdraw $600 from her bank account.

“I feel scared and violated,” she added.

Sakai made photocopies of an image from the surveillance to share with local businesses as a warning and it seems to have worked.

On Thursday night, a cell phone repair shop found their own surveillance video from their store, just two doors down. They think it shows what looks to be the same man, coming in to pick up a cell phone seconds before heading over to the Japanese restaurant.

“I hope with this video anyone can notice him and he’ll get caught so he doesn’t hurt anybody else,” she added.

Anyone with information should contact San Diego police.