As capers go, this crime was somewhat rare and not at all well done. And the owner of a Middle Keys restaurant has a beef with whoever did it and wants them grilled.
Two men reportedly broke into the IHOP restaurant at mile marker 50.5 early Sunday morning. When police arrived around 1:55 a.m., they found that “there were three hamburger patties on the grill that was turned on and cooking with a spatula next to them....” There were “plates of food on the counter area above the grill station holding French fries and hamburger buns,” Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Mark Martin wrote in his report.
The restaurant used to be open around the clock but now closes at midnight, a change put in place a few weeks ago, according to a manager.
While police were investigating, someone not identified by police drove up and said that earlier, they went into IHOP to eat and saw two men “behind the counter cooking food. The subjects offered them food and they eventually realized that the two males were not employees” and walked out.
On the second floor, a door to the roof was open and in the parking lot there was a fireproof safe that “appeared to have been thrown from the roof,” Martin wrote.
An employee was later found hiding in a storage area upstairs and, according to the report, told police he had been sleeping in the office when he heard someone try to open the door, after which he ran and hid in the storage area and called owner Joseph Koreth.
The two would-be cooks, who reportedly were wearing black tank tops, are wanted for misdemeanor theft, criminal mischief and felony burglary.
Contact the Sheriff's Office at (305) 289-2430 or (305) 289-2351 with information. Callers who want to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys at (800) 346-8411. If a Crimestoppers tip leads to an arrest, the caller can be eligible for a cash reward. Tips may be made anonymously at www.tipsubmit.com or via text message to 274637 using the keyword TIP136.
Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219