MYRTLE BEACH — Katherine Ifandel, manager at Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina in Myrtle Beach, was woken by city police around 5 a.m. Friday because the restaurant was broken into.
Salsarita’s was just one business in a string of early morning burglaries, said Lt. Doug Furlong, with Myrtle Beach police.
Between 4:24 a.m. and 6:11 a.m. at least three other businesses were burglarized.
The first break-in reported was at Echo Latino at 3901 North Kings Highway at 4:24 a.m. The police report for that bar was not immediately available.
About 30 minutes later, the back door to Salsarita’s at 3731 Oleander Drive had been smashed and a cash drawer with $100 had been taken.
“The back door to our patio was completely smashed in,” Ifandel said. “You could physically walk through it.” Glass from the door flew as far as the entrance door to the kitchen, she said.
Though the building was empty, Ifandel said employees were shaken by the incident.
“It’s one of those surreal things,” she said. “We tell them in the event of a burglary, give them everything, just give it to them. I’m always telling them to lock the back door, especially at night.”
Ifandel said many of the employees are young and management takes every precaution to make it a safe environment. The day’s earnings are deposited at the bank each night.
“That’s purposeful,” she said. “There wasn’t much to take, but it’s enough to be annoying.”
The next break-in was at Owen’s Beverage at 8000 N. Kings Highway where surveillance video showed two masked men exit a silver sedan. A third stayed in the car, the report said. The men couldn’t get the cash drawers open, but took two cases of beer and six cigarette cartons, police said.
Police think the burglaries may be related, but Furlong said officers are still investigating and aren’t certain the suspects seen at Owen’s are responsible for the other two break-ins.
“They knew what they were coming in for,” Ifandel said. “They left the liquor and went for the easy grab.”
Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381.