LANSING, Mich. — There has been a rash of break-ins at restaurants in downtown Lansing and REO Town.
"When is this going to stop, you know?" said Burcay Gunguler, the co-owner of the Social Sloth Cafe & Bakery. "There should be an end to this, and if they're the same people going in, if it's a team or someone, they should be caught."
The Social Sloth Cafe & Bakery was broken into about a month ago. About $500 was stolen from the cash register, and the back door was damaged, which will cost them $2,000 to replace.
"You just think first, 'Oh sometimes we stay here to bake and cook for the next days,' if we have catering or so on. So, we said, 'Oh, we're glad we weren't here'," Gunguler said.
It's happened to other restaurants, too, among them Good Truckin' Diner, GoodFellas Bagel & Deli, Weston's Kewpee Burger, Gumps BBQ and 102 Pho & Banh Mi.
Saddleback Barbecue is stepping in to help by creating a GoFundMe page.
"A couple of days ago, our neighbor at Good Truckin' food posted on their Facebook page that they had gotten broken into," said Travis Stoliker, co-owner of Saddleback BBQ."Then we also heard that our neighbor behind us, Gumps BBQ, had been broken into and that lead to learning that GoodFellas, Social Sloth, the Weston Kewpees had all also been broken into with varying levels of damage and things that were stolen."
Stoliker said they set a goal of $1,000, but in about two days, just under $8,000 was donated. The last day for donations is Thursday because Stoliker says it's important to get the money to the restaurants as fast as possible.
The money will be distributed evenly among all the restaurants that wanted to be a part of the campaign.
"It's really great. This community is so strong but also the restaurant community, we all try to help each other," he said. "It's really amazing like a lot of people see us as competitors, but in many times, the restaurant community comes together to work together, and this is just another example of that."
Robert Merritt, the public information officer for Lansing Police, said in an email that police have identified and interviewed a suspect regarding recent business burglaries in the city of Lansing.
He said investigators are in the process of determining if the suspect is involved with more than one of the crimes. However, no arrest has been made at this time.
If anyone has information about the break-ins they're asked to call the Lansing Police Department at (517)-483-4600 or Detective Walt Kim at (517)-483-6940.
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