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Salem Police investigate restaurant burglary

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A burglar or burglars broke into one Salem restaurant in the early morning hours of Friday, June 24, and tried, unsuccessfully, to enter another.

The break-in at the Seņor Carlos Restaurant, in the Sky Vue Shopping Center on Highway 62/412 West, was discovered about 2:30 a.m.

"They entered through the front door and got away with cash, checks and a file cabinet," said Police Chief Al Roork.

A file cabinet and some checks written to the restaurant were later discovered by a motorist on Old Sturkie Road.

During the early morning hours, someone also tried to enter the nearby Southfork Restaurant, on Highway 62/412 West.

"They were deterred at the Southfork because it has a sophisticated alarm system and it went off," said Roork.

Roork added his department is pursuing leads and continuing to investigate.

According to the chief, business break-ins are not a huge problem locally, but the Seņor Carlos burglary should be a reminder to business owners not to keep cash on hand after business hours.

Regular customers and the business community expressed happiness and support when Seņor Carlos re-opened in mid-April.

The restaurant, which had been doing well after opening in 2010, suddenly closed in October of that year, after two employees were arrested following the murder of a fellow employee.

Manager Pablo Gonzalez allegedly hired dishwasher Diego Villonueva to kill Jesus Mesa, 31, a waiter and part owner of the restaurant.

Gonzalez and Villonueva both face capital murder trials later this year.

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