Bold thieves target popular restaurant in daylight

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Some bold thieves target a popular Shockoe Slip restaurant in broad daylight. We have surveillance video shows just how close they were to being caught in the act.

The restaurant manager says surveillance video shows three middle-aged people walk in to Urban Farmhouse in the late afternoon - between the lunch and dinner crowds.

Police say two act as lookouts while the third person heads straight to the safe. Two minutes later, they're gone with a bag of cash.

Monday started as a typical, slow afternoon for Glenn Westrich at Urban Farmhouse.

"It's usually our slowest time," Westrich said. "We did have a few customers here at the time. They walked right in. I didn't suspect anything."

Little did he know was about to have three people burglarize the restaurant right under his nose.

"I'm walking in as soon as they're walking out," he said. "(I) didn't even look twice at them. I don't even remember them actually."

First you see these three meet outside. One gives a nod and they head inside. One of the men in this trio appears to know exactly where to go. He heads straight for the safe on the floor in the back office.

"They knew what they were doing for sure," he said. "They knew right where our safe was. It's pretty scary."

All three acted very casually as they were inside. One of them even pretended to browse the wines on the wall as his accomplice was taking money out of the safe.

Westrich says one of the lookouts was even offered a menu. Less than two minutes pass from when they enter the restaurant to when they walk out the door.

The owner of the restaurant walks in just eight seconds after the thief got inside the safe, narrowly missing catching him in the act.

Westrich says no one realized anything was missing until the next day.

"At first I thought it was all a test our owner had set up to prove a point or something," Westrich said. "Then I realized this was professional, planned and everything and my heart sank."

Westrich says these three thieves spoke with either a Creole or Jamaican accent. None of the employees had seen these three at the restaurant before.

Richmond Police are still trying to identify the three thieves. If you have any information, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

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