Monday, June 17, 2024

Seabirds, Holé Molé join second string of burglaries at Long Beach restaurants; owners asked to be ‘on alert’

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Following a string of burglaries and break-ins earlier this year, Seabirds owner Stephanie Morgan thought that it was all over—especially since she had already experienced two burglaries previously in the six years of business she has operated under—until her safe was stolen on during the late hours of the evening on Friday, June 30.

“It was us on Friday night then Holé Molé the following,” Morgan said, whose vegan restaurant on 4th Street at Bonito Avenue has built up a name as one of the city’s best vegan spots. “We had a lock box with a key [on our Bonito-facing side]—the suspect clipped it off the fence and broke it open somehow. And all on the one night we forgot to set our alarm.”

The Hideout, the bar that replaced the former Bird/Fern’s space directly across from Holé Molé on Almond Avenue along 4th Street, was also broken into, with Morgan noting that police told her a similar situation took place there as well: Lock boxes broken into and used to gain access into the spaces.

Sushi Mafia on Broadway also reported they were broken into at around 5AM this morning, with iPads and POS systems being taken.

Seabirds Kitchen’s Bonito Avenue-facing façade. Photo by Brian Addison.

While the most recent break-ins are concentrated along 4th Street, they follow seven others across the city in June alone: The Small Cafe at 5656 E. 2nd St. on June 13; Wingstop at 1806 Ximeno Ave. on June 14; Philz Coffee at 4801 E 2nd St. on June 15; Beach City Deli & BBQ at 1714 Clark Ave. on June 18; Jersey Mike’s at 6467 E Pacific Coast Hwy. on June 22; and both Berry Brand at 5710 E 7th St. and Afters Ice Cream at 5708 E. 7th St. on June 27.

“While the circumstances are similar, detectives have not yet identified any suspect or suspects as being responsible for any of the incidents, nor if the incidents are related,” the Long Beach Police Department stated in a release asking for businesses to be on alert and for the public to come forward if they have any knowledge. “Each incident involved an unknown suspect or suspects disabling an outside lockbox, and in most cases, the keys were used to enter the business. The loss differed in each incident.”

Though the alert was sent out to a variety of business owners—including Brenda Riviera of Lola’s and The Social List, who said they’ve “been broken into so many times, I don’t even remember the dates anymore… It’s so bad that I’ve learned to just block it out”—Morgan wants to highlight the situation so other business owners can properly be on alert as new burglaries occur.

“I wish I knew so I could have brushed up on my security protocol,” Morgan said.

Her need to have knowledge of these incidents isn’t unwarranted, especially with the upcoming holiday coming up, which means more closures and loud noises: Everyone from the owners of The Breakfast Bar and Speak Cheezy—both targeted in March and April’s string of burglaries—to the owners of neighboring bars Stache and Baby Gee hadn’t even known the most recent incidents took place.

This article was updated with more information.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

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