ELMHURST, Queens (PIX11) – There is no shortage of Thai restaurants on Woodside Avenue in Queens, but newcomer Zaab Zaab has already won the approval of food critics and locals.
“I love the food here, especially the fish,” said one customer.
Now its owner, Pei Wei, says the eatery known for using imported northern Thai ingredients is standing out for the wrong reason. Just after 3 a.m. on Saturday, a man popped the front door lock and helped himself to the more than $1,000 in the cash register, Wei said.
“I saw the guy break in just 3-to-5 seconds. I was really surprised with how fast he got in the restaurant. He went behind the counter right away. We are really shocked. We think he has been in the restaurant before,” said Wei.
The suspect was caught on surveillance cameras, rummaging through the business.
“He was looking for anymore money we had inside,” said Wei.
Detectives dusted the entire restaurant for his fingerprints. Police said the suspect also swiped several iPads and iPhones before getting away.
Wei said the burglar lucked out because the Square app used to charge credit cards suffered a system wide outage the day before. They had more cash in the register than usual. She has since changed the locks but doesn’t think that’s enough.
“I feel not safe. I tell all my friends be careful and think about installing metal gates and alarms. I just worry about other store owners. I hope the police can find him right away, to avoid this happens again,” Wei added.
No one was injured in the incident, but police are still looking for the suspect.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).