Crime

This Pasco restaurant just opened. Now it’s closed after a burglar trashed the place

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

Havana Cafe in downtown Pasco was vandalized by a burglar Sunday, according to the Pasco Police Department.

Police believe the break-in happened sometime between Sunday night and Monday afternoon at the new cafe at 404 W. Lewis St.

The restaurant owner, Leo Morales, said he got a call at 4 p.m. Monday from an employee who was stopping by the restaurant when he discovered the building had been vandalized.

Police said the alley door showed signs of a forced entry. Furniture was sliced open, appliances were damaged, and walls and paintings were damaged by black spray paint.

Morales said a computer was stolen, as was the part of the cash register that contained cash.

The Cuban restaurant has only been in business since the beginning of April.

Repairing the damage

Morales said the restaurant is temporarily closing to deal with the damage, but he plans to reopen as soon as he can, saying the incident will not kill his dream of bringing Cuban fare to the Tri-Cities.

He wants to reopen his doors on Colombia’s independence day, July 20, because of the support he got from the Colombian community.

Morales also said the response he has gotten from the town has been unbelievable. He has been overwhelmed all day by phone calls and Facebook messages from strangers offering their money and support.

Despite losing so much in the burglary, Morales said he is grateful for the positive things that have come out of it.

“It was the worst day of my life,” Morales said, “but today was the best day of my life.”

Pasco police have not identified a suspect or a cause but encourage anyone with information about the case to reach out to them. Contact Detective Corey Smith at smithc@pasco-wa.gov, call dispatch at 509-628-0333, or contact Carlos Santiago at santiagoc@pasco-wa.gov about case PP19-20673 burglary.

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