SAN DIEGO – Surveillance cameras captured a maskless man burglarizing a Normal Heights bar during a time when many small businesses are already struggling.
“You have to wonder why they wouldn’t wear a mask in a pandemic and why they wouldn’t wear one when you’re breaking into a place. So I really don’t understand this guy,” Ashley Wardle, general manager at Sycamore Den, said.
Wardle got a call from their security company just before 1 a.m. alerting her of a possible break-in. When she got there, she found glass shattered near the door. A check of the surveillance footage revealed the rest.
In the video shared with FOX 5, a man can be seen hobbling after getting inside. He hops over the bar and smashes one cash register, which was empty. Wardle said he then smashed a second register holding $400. The video shows the man stuffing his sweatshirt with cash before taking off.
“He was in and out in a minute. The footage made it look like he had done this before and he absolutely knew what he was doing. He brought a hammer and he had gloves on,” Wardle said.
A neighboring business was able to share more images of the man, all of which have been turned over to San Diego police.
A window and two registers at Sycamore Den now need to be replaced, which will cost thousands of dollars. Despite the hit when times are tough, Wardle says support from loyal customers has managed to outweigh the negativity.
“The community has showed up in incredible ways,” Wardle said. “Even if they don’t feel comfortable coming into drink, they’ll come in to buy a t-shirt or tip our staff. I think it’s brought out the good in a lot of people — and the bad in a lot of people.”
The man in the video is the only person believed to be involved in the burglary. Wardle is hoping someone recognizes him and calls San Diego police.