Thieves break into restaurants during shelter-in-place

Businesses in San Jose are being hit by thieves and vandals during the coronavirus pandemic. At least two restaurants in San Jose were broken into over the past few days.

Jack Holder’s Restaurant in San Jose is only accepting to-go orders during the shelter in place order. Owner Dan Holder can’t help but be more guarded after thieves broke in using a crow bar and smashed a window pane early Sunday morning.

“You feel very violated,” said Dan Holder. “My family has half a dozen of these restaurants in the area and we are all down 75 to 80 percent.”

Holder said the suspects stole several tablets including one used for DoorDash. They also stole money from the cash register and a manager's wallet. He’s not the only one targeted.

“I have friends, one owns Armadillo Willy's,” said Holder. “He’s a regional manager at Armadillo Willy’s. They broke into his place on Saturday. The West Coast Beef Company was broken into a month ago.”

The day before the break-in, the restaurant provided free dinner to 225 San Jose police officers, firefighters and dispatchers. Holder estimates the theft and vandalism set him back at least $5,000.

Kam Razavi has a similar story but worse.

“We are estimating between $8,000 to $12,000 total, what they took and what they have damaged,” said Razavi.

Loft Bar & Bistro in downtown San Jose is closed for now. Razavi said last Thursday night, two people kicked in the door to his back patio, broke locks and stole alcohol from his bar and electronics. The alarm system went off but the crooks were too fast. Surveillance video captured one thief.

“I feel like someone poured salt on my wound after I got stabbed with what’s going on the last few weeks,” said Razavi. “I’m not happy about it but it's the sign of the times right now.”

As for Jack Holder’s Restaurant, owner Dan Holder is not leaving money in the restaurant overnight. He said the burglaries serve as a reminder for other businesses to be on heightened alert.

“These guys are out there,” said Holder. “They are brazen, they are going to do what they are going to do until we get tough on them and it's going to continue.”

In both cases, the owners posted about their break-ins on social media and said police have strong leads. They question how long the criminals will stay in jail given state laws and the coronavirus pandemic.

Azenith Smith is a reporter forKTVU.  Email Azenith at and follow her on Twitter@AzenithKTVU