Living the High Life at a Closed Restaurant

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This Week’s Wacky Wednesday: Living the High Life at a Closed Restaurant

This story from a couple of years ago has a little bit of humor in it, and it’s one that a lot of people might relate to, even though we would never do it ourselves. Let’s go back in time a couple of years and look at what Louis Ortiz did to get himself in a heaping amount of trouble.

What’s Yours Is Mine

It’s 2020 and the height of the pandemic. People are staying home, restaurants are closed, and only essential businesses are open. Lots of folks are getting bored. Some might be trying to figure out what to do during the pandemic with so much downtime. There’s also a lot of fear over everything that’s happening. It becomes easier to make some bad decisions.

Louis Ortiz’s bad decision led him to Soul de Cuba Café, a restaurant in New Haven, CT. This was a shuttered restaurant, and Ortiz took it upon himself to break into the eatery, where he ended up staying for four days. During that time, he treated himself to all of the food and drink he wanted.

Caught with His Eyes Closed

However, he didn’t just stay in the restaurant, and that’s likely what got him caught. Authorities received a call about a burglary in progress at the restaurant, and when they arrived, they found Ortiz asleep.

When they reviewed security footage, they discovered that the burglary had first happened four days earlier. They could see Ortiz make his way into the restaurant via one of the windows. The footage also saw him taking advantage of the food and drinks. During that time, he had consumed thousands of dollars of beverages and food including 70 bottles of liquor.

Ortiz also took property and beverages out of the building. However, it wasn’t due to those excursions that he was seen, and the authorities were called. Instead, it occurred when a manager was going a routine check of the restaurant. They noticed that things seemed out of place, and they called the police.

Something that wasn’t made clear was what he was doing with the property and the drinks he was taking out of the restaurant. He may have been selling them, but that’s just speculation. Who knows how long Ortiz would have stayed at the restaurant. He might’ve just stayed until the food ran out and then might’ve gone somewhere else.

Ultimately, he was charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree larceny, first-degree criminal mischief, and second-degree failure to appear connected to an unrelated warrant.

It Seems Funny but Causes Real Problems

At first, the story does seem funny and even a bit lighthearted. No one died or was injured, which is always a win. A little laughter at a crime and criminal that lean toward the goofy isn’t a bad thing.

However, you have to think about the repercussions of what happened to the restaurant owner. A lot of people might feel that the owner’s insurance company will just pay for everything, but that’s not the point.

The restaurant still had to deal with the break-in, the mess, and the fact that they are going to feel less safe. There is something scary about people who don’t respect private property and boundaries. You never know exactly what they might be capable of doing.

The restaurant likely had their insurance rates go up, as well. The pandemic is not easy for anyone, but that shouldn’t give others the right to take things that don’t belong to them or to break into a property. Desperation—or sometimes just not thinking—can make people do some strange things.