Deputies arrest teens caught on camera vandalizing Central restaurant
UPDATE: Deputies arrested a 12-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy, who they say are the pair caught on camera vandalizing a restaurant in Central. They now both face charges of simple burglary and criminal damage to property.
"That surprised me," said owner Moose Abusada. "I was surprised how quick it was and I'm glad they finally caught the people behind it."
Deputies say they were able to make such a quick arrest because they recognized them in the video. The pair are very well known to local authorities.
CENTRAL- When Cafe Phoenecia closed early on Monday, no one planned to be back until after the holidays... or so they thought.
"I walked up, and I saw two coke bottles out here, so I knew something was wrong," said owner Mutaz "Moose" Abusada.
When Abusada arrived to reopen his restaurant Wednesday morning, he immediately knew something was amiss.
"As soon as I opened the door, the Christmas tree is on the ground, and there was this smell of liquor and ketchup," he said.
That's because liquor and ketchup had been dumped everywhere, including on the expensive equipment the wait staff uses to take orders. When Abusada went into the office to check the security cameras, he found that every wire had been clipped, but the intruders were still caught on camera.
"It looked like one female and the other one we aren't sure if it was a male or female," said Abusada.
To his surprise, the vandals only took a couple of liquor bottles when they finished trashing the restaurant.
"The place is awful," said long-time employee Chelsea Elledge. She rushed over with her co-workers when she heard the news.
"We had people come in that weren't even supposed to be here today to help get everything cleaned up because there really is some bad damage in there," she said.
Abusada and his staff have no idea who the girls are or why they would do such a thing.
"Especially on Christmas that's what blows my mind, but you know it's not going to stop us. We're going to clean up and start over again," he said.
Abusada says Cafe Phoenecia plans to be back in business for lunch Thursday at 11 a.m. Anyone with information about the vandals is asked to call the Central Police Department.