Monster Burger Sports Bar & Grill in Cuero reopened Tuesday after an early Monday morning burglary left the restaurant unable to operate.
Randy Saenz, the owner of the restaurant and former mayor of Cuero, said he is devastated.
Saenz said his girlfriend picked him up from the restaurant on North Esplanade Street about midnight Sunday after he finished completing paperwork and locking the doors.
When Saenz returned at 9 a.m. Monday to meet delivery trucks, he opened the door to find M&Ms all over the floor and the restaurant burglarized and ransacked.
“We freaked out; were like, ‘What the hell?’’’said Saenz, who entered the building with his girlfriend. “I made her stop and stay there ’cause I didn’t know if the person was still in the building or not.”
Video footage from inside the restaurant shows the thief breaking into the restaurant at 4:18 a.m. In the footage, he is shown with a machete, leisurely strolling through the restaurant and filling up Saenz’s jacket with belongings to take.
In total, Saenz said the thief took $8,000; additional deposits; a sack of food; an iPhone; an iPad; iPhone chargers; his daughter’s $240 in savings; two firearms; and Saenz’s keys, which were later found in a recycling bin outside with his jacket.
Of all the things stolen, Saenz said he is most concerned about his green Glock handgun and Beretta shotgun.
“They could use my guns to kill someone, to hurt someone, to threaten someone,” Saenz said. “Guns are the most dangerous things on the planet in the wrong hands.”
Saenz said he thinks the thief broke in through the back of the restaurant, which he said has been boarded off since Hurricane Harvey because insurance has yet to accept his claim.
The Cuero Police Department responded to the burglary about 9:30 a.m., when they were called to the scene by Saenz. Jay Lewis, chief of the Cuero Police Department, said they are investigating the theft and the department could not release any further information Tuesday.
In addition to stealing valuables, the thief also damaged the restaurant. Saenz said the thief tore up important paperwork, yanked the telephone line out of the wall, destroyed multiple security cameras, took the modems out of computers and destroyed credit card machines.
One of Saenz’s 10 children, Saige Saenz, 19, is offering a $1,500 reward to anyone who can lead to the arrest of the thief.
“That is all of his savings,” Saenz said about his son, who works two jobs. “He’s a really good boy, a really good son.”
If anyone recognizes the individual in the footage or saw anything suspicious in area Sunday night or early Monday morning, contact the Cuero Police Department at 361-275-3552.