Easter burglar steals from popular NM spot

ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) – She took her time burglarizing a very popular restaurant on Easter Sunday, then put her face right in plain view of the camera, as she attempted to destroy evidence. Now, police want the public’s help identifying the burglar.

Surveillance cameras caught one woman’s Easter Sunday stroll, as she pried her way into El Parasol restaurant, a landmark in Española. She’s shown on video trying hard to open the cash registers.

“It’s the cost of doing business, we had to install cameras, we have to have security here, we didn’t have security here because it was Easter which is probably a mistake in retrospect, but I mean you want to give people the day off,” explained Ralph Atencio, owner of El Parasol.

Video shows the woman mess with the first register, then work her way to the other one, as she struggles to get them open.

Then the woman spots the camera, and puts herself in plain view as she bangs away with a hammer until she finally breaks it.

“They don’t know what’s actually going on and there is always some sort of recording device that’s recording these cameras, so whether you break the camera or not, it’s already been recorded somewhere,” said Cpl. Det. Solomon Romero, of the Española Police Department.

Detectives and the restaurant’s owners hope someone recognizes the thief. She’s wearing yellow shorts, a grey sweatshirt, and her large glasses are distinctive.

Police said she caused $1,500 in damage, and since she couldn’t open the registers, she had to settle for the $40 in the staff’s tip jar.

“I think that was kind of a low blow for it to be done on Easter, that’s unfortunate,” said Atencio. “Everybody’s just trying to take the day off, relax and be with their families, now from now on we’ve got to have somebody here taking care of the place, so that’s not gonna happen.”

El Parasol is part of El Paragua, a longtime family-owned restaurant that’s been recognized as one of New Mexico’s favorite spots. “Any success that we’ve had is built on the foundation of my parents hard work,” Atencio said.

The owners said they’ve never had a break-in this brazen. In a city where everyone seems to know each other, Atencio hopes someone knows the thief, and calls police.

The restaurant’s owners said from now on, they’ll have someone working security, even on holidays when their business is closed. Anyone with information is asked to call Española Police. 

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