Overnight burglaries damage restaurants in Oakhurst, Kirkwood and Candler Park

A front window was smashed at Los Ninos Taqueria in Decatur during a June 10 burglary. (Photo by Logan Ritchie)

Thieves looking for cash damaged at least seven restaurants and businesses in and around Decatur’s Oakhurst neighborhood, one in Atlanta’s Kirkwood neighborhood and two in Atlanta’s Candler Park neighborhood.

Three suspects driving a black sedan broke windows and front doors to enter businesses overnight, according to the Decatur Police Department.

The burglaries took place in the early hours of Monday, June 10 and the majority of businesses affected were restaurants, including Ford’s BBQ, Mojo Pizza, Wahoo Wine and Provisions at Wahoo! Grill, Sun in My Belly, Los Ninos Taqueria and Moxie Burger.

Los Ninos Taqueria, on College Avenue in Decatur, lost an entire glass panel next to the Mexican restaurant’s front door. Owner Shane Mixon said he believes Los Ninos was the latest business to be damaged and burglarized in Decatur around 5:30 a.m. Some cash was stolen, but not much else, he said.

“It’s easy to break a panel of glass,” Mixon said while sitting at the Los Ninos bar Monday morning waiting for the glass repair company to arrive.

Mixon owns Paolino’s, an Italian restaurant and ice cream shop about a mile from Los Ninos on Oakhurst Square, which was also hit. Both restaurants opened as usual Monday afternoon, after cleaning up the broken windows.

“We have bills to pay. Well, now we have even more bills,” Mixon added.

In Candler Park, Moxie Burger and San Francisco Coffee, at the corner of DeKalb Avenue and Clifton Road, were open and busy, despite damage to the front doors. It is unclear if anything was stolen from the businesses.

San Francisco Coffee and its neighbor, Moxie Burger, were hit by vandals on June 10. Photos by Logan C. Ritchie.
Broken glass litters the ground outside the entrance to Ford’s BBQ. (Photo by Corine Theobold Parker)

A similar scenario played out early Monday morning in Kirkwood at the Sun in My Belly breakfast and brunch restaurant. One of the restaurant’s wooden French doors was hanging off its hinges on the side of the building.

Homeowner Max LeBlanc said that around 5:30 Monday morning, the suspects attempted to break in through a front window. When they failed, the suspects broke down a set of blue French doors on the corner of the historic Kirkwood building. Once inside, the suspects attempted to disconnect Sun from My Belly’s point-of-sale system, but realized there was no money. While searching for other cash drawers, they “ransacked” other areas of the restaurant before fleeing the scene when neighbors walking their dogs were alerted to the commotion.

LeBlanc said a suspect dropped his cellphone as he fled, which was turned over to Atlanta police, along with security footage from Sun in My Belly. He estimates that replacing the damaged French doors will cost about $7,500.

Monday’s break-in at Sun in My Belly came a week after the popular brunch spot unexpectedly closed for two days due to Atlanta’s water crisis that saw thousands of residents, businesses and restaurants in town experience low or no water for days.

“After the water main broke, this is another devastating blow to a small business like ours. We can’t take a break, but we will do what we do best, which is food and customer service,” LeBlanc said. “All of this leaves our entire staff feeling defeated. Hopefully the community will help support us during this time. I know many businesses are struggling with all of these setbacks.

The Decatur Police Department is investigating a series of early morning break-ins.

According to Decatur Police, “At approximately 4:51 a.m., DPD responded to a burglary alarm in the 600 block of East Lake Drive and discovered several businesses had been burglarized. Other commercial burglaries were discovered on Mead Road, West College Avenue and East College Avenue. A total of nine commercial burglaries were reported. The suspects forced open glass doors and windows and targeted cash registers. Investigators intervened to analyze the scenes. Initial investigation revealed three suspects were driving a black sedan.

Decatur police told Rough Draft on Monday that the department will contact police in DeKalb County and Atlanta to follow up on any related incidents in those jurisdictions.

Investigations are active and ongoing. To report information about incidents, contact Sgt. Mark Hensel at [email protected] or 678-553-6687, or Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta at 404-577-TIPS (8477) to remain anonymous.