BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) – Police confirmed that four different restaurants in Bryan were robbed early Wednesday morning.
The four restaurants are Imperial Chinese & Sushi and Cotton Patch Cafe on Earl Rudder Freeway, and Mr. Hamburger and Babe’s Donut & Coffee Shop on Texas Avenue.
Security footage from inside the Imperial shows burglars breaking into the restaurant. Owner Stan Zhang said three suspects broke in through the back door window around 4 a.m. Wednesday.
“They get inside and break the cash register and take all the money from it,” Zhang said. “They cross the kitchen and enter the office. I think they were just looking for money.
Zhang says they took about $800 and a crate of beer, in addition to breaking the crate and other equipment at the front of the restaurant. Zhang said he felt shocked and disgusted, and was heartbroken when he saw the condition of the front desk when he entered Wednesday morning.
“We work seven days a week and since 2014 we have been serving the community,” Zhang said. “At Bryan-College Station, we think it’s a very, very safe community for us because we’ve lived here for over ten years. We don’t see a lot of bad things happening.
The Cotton Patch Cafe is only two buildings away. The official told KBTX they were hit around 4:30 a.m. He says the burglars also broke through a glass door and fled with cash within three minutes.
Mr Hamburger was hit about an hour earlier at around 3:20 a.m.
“It’s one of those things where you just feel vulnerable and violated,” said Mr. Hamburger’s general manager, Jeff Lednicky. “When you get that first phone call in the morning or see that text message saying, ‘Hey, we got robbed last night,’ it’s one of those heartbreaking things.”
The circumstances were strikingly similar to the Imperial break-in. The burglars entered through the back door, smashed cash registers, broke into the office and made off with around $800 in cash.
“It’s really disturbing, especially for us, and then when you hear about it in several other restaurants,” Lednicky said. “I think three of the four of them were also locally owned, so it impacts the small business owner when things like this happen.”
Lednicky says the burglary hiccupped their process in the morning, but they were able to recover fairly quickly. Some of the damage caused by the burglars has already been repaired. He says, however, that the whole ordeal has made him rethink some things.
“We have already started to implement various changes. No one goes alone,” Lednicky said. “As managing director I like to stay after and do things, but now it makes me rethink my processes at night. I make sure we have someone with us at all times. It’s like habit, you keep moving forward, not letting them get the best of you, but it does lead you to come up with a different process on what you need to do and how you need to do it to make your business grow.
So far, no arrests have been made. Imperial, Cotton Patch and Mr. Hamburger said they all filed a report with Bryan police and gave them all of their security camera footage. Zhang and Lednicky said KBTX officers also came to their restaurants to fingerprint them.
Zhang says he hopes state and federal governments will find a way to create better opportunities to deter burglaries and other such acts.
“If the wicked can wake up at 4 a.m. and search the city, they can find a normal job to get a pretty good salary,” Zhang said. “Everyone in the restaurant also gets a pretty good salary. They can find work as cooks or dishwashers and benefit from a very safe working environment. They don’t worry too much. $800 cash from the register will only make you happy for a minute. You can only count on this money for a few weeks and you continue to do so.
Copyright 2022 KBTX. All rights reserved.