By: Sarah Snyder
"Panic. Your worst nightmare," Wienerschnitzel Owner Denise Swanner said when Wienerschnitzel employees headed in for work at 7:30 Monday morning and found broken glass and their equipment completely destroyed.
"I couldn't believe it had happened, honestly," Manager Kathi Hudson, said. "Because you don't ever think about it being your place or something that involves you that will happen."
The thieves broke through the back door, smashed all the monitors, and turned the surveillance cameras around so they couldn't be seen. The owner tells us they did $100,000 worth of damage, but the most expensive was the ice cream machine, she says, it's a total loss.
"They hit it with a crowbar or a hammer and bashed it," Hudson said.
But here's the twist, these crooks didn't just come in to steal, they came to destroy.
"Where their losses come from is the stuff that's taken from them," Cpl. Sherrie Carruth with the Odessa Police Department, said. "In this case, her stolen is like $1300, but her damage far exceeds what was taken from the property."
Odessa Police say it's unusual for a thief to focus on property damage instead of acquiring money.
"You don't normally see them going in to damage property," Cpl. Carruth said. "Not to the extent that they damaged property here. So this really stands out in that it's almost like a personal type deal going on here."
The owner says the burglar was most likely familiar with her restaurant.
"When they came right through the front door, they knew right where the cameras were and flipped them around," Swanner said. "They went straight to the safe and we believe they knew the combination."
The owner says while the equipment may be expensive to replace, she's trying to stay positive.
"It's only material things," Swanner said. "It all can be replaced. Nobody got hurt. In the longrun, we'll still be winners."
Wienerschnitzel is back up and running. They are offering a reward leading to an arrest. If you have any information, contact Crimestoppers at 333-TIPS.