A 250 pound safe ought to be its own security system. There aren’t many thieves who would even think of trying to swipe such a massive vault, much less from a crowded restaurant while diners chow down in the next room.
But that is exactly what happened on Sunday night in South Weymouth, Massachusetts. One lone, very daring, and most importantly, very strong thief snuck in a side door of Stockholders Steakhouse in this South Shore town — and walked out carrying the giant hunk of dead weight, wrapped in a garbage bag.
Apparently, the one thing stronger than the man who stole the safe was the garbage bag. Not many plastic bags can safely hold a 250 pound object.
“That’s saying something for trash bags I guess,” quipped one Stockholders diners, Dana Snowdale, in an interview with Boston’s WBZ TV.
But the theft was not funny at all to Stockholders owner Kevin Hynes. He would not specify exactly how much cash was in the safe when the physically fit burglar absconded with it, but he told The Quincy Patriot-Ledger that it was a “significant” amount and “enough to hurt.”
The thief was caught on surveillance video. He was described as white or Hispanic, male, clad in a black winter hat, red sweat pants and a beige jacket.
The video showed the man entering the restaurant through a side door off limits to customers and talking on a cell phone as he walks down a flight of stairs to the basement, where the 250 pound safe was stored.
The man’s behavior gives Hynes, a former 10-year Weymouth police officer, his suspicions as to who the thief might be.
“That tells me it was one of the employees, an inside job,” he told WBZ. “Or it was one of the delivery guys.”
If he can narrow it down to only the employees or delivery guys with active gym memberships, he might have his man.
“What upsets me the most is how certain people in the world take advantage, so to speak,” Hynes said. “I just feel bad that there are people out there that would do something like this.”
Weymouth Police Captain Richard Fuller couldn’t recall another crime quite like this one.
“I’ve never seen something like this in an open restaurant where someone walks out with a safe,” he said. “It’s different.”
The route the thief took in and out of the restaurant took him through an area not readily visible to customers, explaining why no one in the crowded eatery noticed a man walking out carrying a 250 pound safe.
Hynes says he has increased security at the restaurant and now purchased an even heavier safe — which he has bolted to the floor, just to be sure.