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'It feels like a violation': El Taco Santo in Phoenix burglarized smash-and-grab style

A suspect smashed in the glass door of a Phoenix Mexican restaurant, then stole their cash register.

PHOENIX — When Phoenix restaurant owner Johnny Byrd walked into work, he instantly knew something was off.

Glass scattered across the floor and a surveillance camera revealed that his restaurant, El Taco Santo, was targeted by a masked burglar overnight Saturday.

"We came in and to my surprise, the back door was already swung right open and then so we immediately knew something was wrong," said Byrd.

Then he checked the surveillance video and saw the suspect crawling on all fours, smashing the front door and running in. He got away with the cash register. 

"It definitely feels like a violation," Byrd said. "I was quite shocked to be a victim because Ahwatukee is a safe place overall, we have crimes here and there but every city does."

Although he suffered some losses, he said he was lucky overall. 

"Nothing else was really missing or even touched," Byrd said. "It could have been so much worse, you just have to look at the positive we’ll be able to recover from this."

With a positive mindset, he's using this as a lesson others can hopefully benefit from as well. 

"I’m just blown away by all the support the local community has shown us after I posted on Facebook to let everyone know hey, lessons learned, make sure businesses are not doing what I did. Don’t leave any money or leave it unlocked so they don’t do any damage to it if they do come in."

The Phoenix Police Department are investigating and in the meantime, Byrd said he's going to do some investigating of his own. 

"They knew exactly what they were doing, it took three minutes total," he said. "We are looking at all the video to see if it was someone casing the place a week before."

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