A man took $10,000 when he broke into Mee Mees Authentic Thai Cuisine Feb. 6, owner Michael Muholland said.
In addition to stealing the safe, a lot of damage was done to the restaurant, Temple Police Department spokesman Cody Weems said.
The thief broke open the old door on the back of the building at about 3 a.m., broke through the sheetrock, then crawled through the dishwasher to enter the restaurant, where he pried open the cash register.
The restaurant’s safe was too heavy for him to carry, so the man put it on Mulholland’s office desk and hauled it over to the back door. It wouldn’t fit through the dishwasher, so the man took the whole safe with him, Mulholland said. The safe weighed about 110 to 120 pounds with all the change in it.
The safe had more than $10,000 in it that had beem collected since December to pay their income tax, according to Mulholland.
The thief's image was recorded by a security camera. The man raised the hood on his jacket and began to cover his face with a handkerchief but then looked directly at the camera.
Customers have been supportive since the burglary. However, damage inside the restaurant prompted customers to eat their food outside in to-go boxes, Mulholland said.
“The business volume didn’t drop much at all,” he said.
Someone tried about five years ago to break into the business the same way, but motion sensors set off the alarm and that person fled after he tried unsuccessfully to get the cash drawer.
“We thought the back door was secure now with the metal strips across it,” Mulholland said. The motion sensors were going off prematurely, he said.
Anyone who recognizes the man captured by the security camera is asked to call the Temple Police Department at 254-298-5500, Weems said.