Investigation ongoing in recent Brawley burglaries

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BRAWLEY – Recent burglaries in downtown Brawley are being investigated by the Brawley Police Department.

Inferno Restaurant and The Rock Coffee Shop & Café were both burglarized. The Lions Center pool and building were vandalized.

Inferno Restaurant was burglarized Thursday, May 7. The glass on the patio side entrance door was broken to gain entrance.

Ray Babb, owner of Inferno, said the restaurant had an alarm system.

“At midnight, my alarm company called me that my alarm had gone off and I told them to call the police,” said Babb. “I came in the next morning and there’s glass everywhere, the place is a mess, and the POS machines and the cash registers are gone. I called the alarm company and asked them if they called the police. They said, yes and at 12:05 the Brawley PD called them back and said everything was good. I asked the police to come over here, look at this place, and tell me everything is fine. If they would have stopped and shined a light on our patio, they would have seen glass everywhere. The people that broke in took our cash registers out on the patio and pounded on them to break them open. They had to be here a very long time. They also used one of our ladders to take stuff over our back fence. We have added more security measures.”

On May 12, someone vandalized the Lions Center swimming pool and did some building damage.

Pat Dorsey, Brawley Parks and Recreation Director, was concerned the pool would be out of commission for a while.

“Whoever did this knew what they were doing,” said Dorsey. “They had the tools to disable the pump and filter systems. We are waiting for the company that can repair our broken pool systems to get here, assess the damages, and give us a time frame for making the necessary repairs.”

Two juveniles have been arrested for the vandalism.

The Rock Coffee Shop & Café was burglarized on Friday, May 15 in much the same manner as Inferno. A side window was broken to gain entrance.

The Rock owner Ted Riley commented on the break-in.

“It’s more frustrating than anything,” said Riley. “They took our cash register and a couple of other things.”

All locations were vandalized early in the morning while they were closed and no employees were present.

“The two burglaries are being investigated at this time,” said Brawley Police Chief Michael Crankshaw. “No arrests have been made so far. Two juveniles were arrested in connection with the Lions Center incidents. They have been booked into Juvenile Hall. Our response times are very quick. It’s unfortunate that the door in which Inferno suffered damage was undetected by our unit. We have taken steps to be more thorough in the future.”