Houston Restaurant Owner Hit by Thieves Twice Within Three Weeks

A sight no restaurant owner ever wants to see: a thief, crowbar in hand, looking around for something to steal.
A sight no restaurant owner ever wants to see: a thief, crowbar in hand, looking around for something to steal.
Video capture by Paul Miller

May has not proven to be a great month for Houston restaurant owner Paul Miller. He’s the owner of both The Union Kitchen and Jax Grill locations. As we reported, The Union Kitchen on Memorial was broken into in the wee hours of May 10. The thieves smashed the front door and stole high-dollar wine. This time, Miller reports the Jax Grill location at 1613 Shepherd was hit last night in much the same way.

It was another instance of a quick smash-and-grab. The lowlife thief, dressed brazenly in all white with a white mask, busted the front door glass with a crowbar. Armed with a flashlight, he searched the premises for something of value to steal. Fortunately, Miller says, all he got away with was “cheap liquor.” The vandal was in and out in two minutes.

“They’re getting more brazen,” says Miller, who wonders if other restaurants in the area were also hit. “I am having more cameras installed at all restaurants. Parking lots and patios,” he says.

The thief got into Jax Grill by smashing a front door with a crowbar.
The thief got into Jax Grill by smashing a front door with a crowbar.
Photo by Doug Wilson

The Union Kitchen break-in cost Miller more than $3,000. For this one, he expects to have to lay out $1,500 to $2,000 for the glass door and inventory replacements. “The bigger expense will be adding a couple cameras to each restaurant,” he said.

Yet, when thieves are smashing the front door and getting in and out so quickly, will those measures really help? There is perhaps no technological measure that replaces a live security guard, and that’s a cost many restaurants can’t justify.

Hopefully, this is the last time Miller has to deal with being victimized, at least for some time to come.  

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