SPRINGFIELD — It was all caught on surveillance Thursday, and the owners have an idea of what led to the theft.
Gilardi’s Ristorante on East Walnut had its register broken into just before 8:30 Thursday night, and surveillance video shows the robbery in action.
A man wearing a ball cap reaches right over the counter and helps himself to $530 of what was kept in the cash register at the bar.
Chef and Owner of Gilardi’s Restaurant on Historic Walnut Street is James Martin, and his gut feeling is that the person who stole money from their register was someone who is familiar with their operations.
“We’re fairly sure that we were being watched. We have our suspicions on who it is and we have filed a police report on it,” Martin says.
He explained how fast the entire thing went down, and says he thinks it was carefully planned.
“It was someone who knew the business, it was someone who knew where the cash drawer was at. According to the video, he sat right next to that cash drawer, waited for the servers attention to be diverted, and was in and out of that building in about 35 seconds. As soon as I left, 8 minutes later he walked in that door,” Martin says.
James was meeting with his wife and Co-Owner, Courtney, and her son at an arcade for some family time before school starts.
Courtney got the call from a server about what happened. In a rush, she told James to go back while she stayed with her son.
“I wasn’t understanding what happened, so I called back up to talk to get more detail and that’s when it clicked in my head that it had to be planned out. It was someone who knew where the register was, they knew how to get into it,” Courtney says.
You may not think $530 is a lot to a restaurant, but the Martins it hurts a small business like themselves.
“$500 certainly won’t shut our doors, but it certainly will take profit out of the month. That will take us anywhere from $5000-$7000 in revenue to make that $500 dollars,” James explains.
The owners hope other small business owners to be vigilant and stay cautious.
“I would encourage all business owners to just be aware of your cash drawer, be aware of your tip jar in a bar. It could happen to any business owner”
The surveillance video already has over 25,000 views since it was shared on the restaurants’ Facebook page, and if you have any information on who this man is or his whereabouts, contact Springfield Police.