3 Albemarle Co. restaurants recovering after weekend break-ins

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 3:57 PM EST
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Al Carbon Chicken, Vocelli Pizza, and Sam’s Kitchen are picking up the pieces after all three were apparently broken into sometime early Saturday, November 20.

“Well I usually come in here at 5:30 in the morning to get everything set up. When I got here Saturday morning, I parked over there and automatically just walked to the door,” Barbara Harlow, a waitress at Sam’s Kitchen, said.

That’s when Harlow noticed the broken glass.

“When we got here it was pretty bad: There was glass everywhere and there was bottles broken on the floor, and we kind of pieced together they’d hit all three,” waitress Kathleen Palmer said. “One of the biggest things about our restaurant is that they pulled a lot of electrical equipment out, which we were able to restore, but not in time to open for the day.”

“They broke wine bottles back there. They stole a bottle of vinegar. That’s what he used to break into the pizza place,” Harlow said.

“They used the bottle of balsamic vinegar that they stole from Sam’s Kitchen to bust the window,” Vocelli Pizza Owner Brian Washington said. “I have so much invested in this place, they’re stealing from my family.”

Sam’s Kitchen was vandalized, while Vocelli and Al Carbon lost what was in their cash drawers. All three came together to support each other.

“The people from Sam’s Kitchen were absolutely amazing. They came down, they actually cleaned up for me, and helped me out so within an hour I was business as usual,” Washington said.

“We lost a day of business. So, I mean, that’s a huge damage. Saturday is a big business day for us and we weren’t able to open at all. So where we didn’t lose any cash, that still hurt us as a business that way,” Palmer said.

They say the community has also stepped up to help.

“We have some terrific customers. I’ve known them since before I don’t know when, and they’ve given us a lot of support,” Harlow said.

The Albemarle County Police Department is investigating.

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