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Utah restaurant reeling after being robbed twice over the weekend

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MURRAY — A restaurant in Murray was robbed not once but twice over the weekend, prompting the business to cut off cash transactions to avoid being a target for criminals.

During the lunch-hour rush, there's hardly any downtime at Mr. Charlie's Chicken Fingers. But since Saturday, there's not a single penny in the restaurant to show for it.

"It just kind of makes us a target," said Taylor Hamner, the manager at the Murray location. "And it makes it not necessarily the safest place right now."

The restaurant has been off 4500 South since 2019. Since then, they've struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortages and supply chain issues. But never — until now — have they dealt with a break-in.

The first one happened around 2 a.m. on Friday. Hamner said someone broke in through the backdoor with a crowbar.

Surveillance video shows the man make his way through the kitchen, straight to the cash register. And in less than a minute and a half, he is on his way out with the safe and a cash drawer.

"It's not something you want to have to deal with," Hamner said.

And then, if that wasn't frustrating enough, it happens again the next morning.

"5 a.m.! Yeah, when the sun's coming up, he's kneeling down over here in front of the front door."

This person takes off with the remaining cash drawer and the tip jar. Hamner said he believes this robber is a different person than the day before.

It's unclear if the two incidents are related.

"It just didn't seem possible, but there we were," he said. "It makes some of the employees not very comfortable, you know. That doesn't make me feel good."

Hamner didn't know or wouldn't say how much was stolen. Murray police are investigating.

The restaurant has already bought a new door. It plans to install a new alarm system and they're still weighing whether they will begin accepting cash again.

"We also can't just let ourselves be a target," he said. "Just until we can make things more secure and get it set up better, it's just not something we can do."

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Matt Rascon


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