Austin restaurant robbed again, third time in three months amid police shortage

Robbery is latest in string of victimized restaurants in Texas city

A Texas restaurant has been robbed again, the third time in three months, its owners said.

An East Austin BBQ location, la Barbecue, co-owned by LeAnn Mueller and Alison Clem, was broken into Wednesday evening by a suspect who "ripped our gate open and stole a couple of empty kegs," the duo wrote in an Instagram post.

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"This guy pulled up in a car full of stuff… he ripped our gate open and stole a couple empty kegs," the post read. "The ring system scared him off, so he did not venture back into the area. PLEASE EVERYONE ON THE EAST SIDE BE CAREFUL!!! This guy goes back into his car to grab something before he goes in. I am hoping he won’t be back!!"

The Austin Police have yet to release any additional information regarding the robbery, Fox 7 of Austin reported.

The robbery is the latest in a string of victimized restaurants in the city, as an East Austin food truck owner claims he has also been the victim of multiple robberies.

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East Austin cheesesteak truck R&B's Steak and Fries owner Kris Elliott said he is grateful no one has been hurt in the robberies, the last of which occurred a month and a half ago, Austonia reported.

"When the weather gets cold, it seems like these things start to happen more often," Elliott told the outlet. "We're just happy no one got hurt."

Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon provides an update on overnight shootings in Austin, Texas, early Saturday, June 12, 2021.

Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon provides an update on overnight shootings in Austin, Texas, early Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Austin Police Department via AP)

"Been very tough dealing with this problem as us small business owners are just trying to survive during the pandemic," Elliott added, according to the report.

Other restaurants, including Eldorado Cafe and Chez Zee Bistro, both in North Austin, have also been robbed this year. Dozens of food truck robberies and restaurant break-ins were reported at the end of last year, a spike that Xose Velasco, owner of East Austin's Discada, attributes to understaffed law enforcement offices, Austonia reported.

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Independent researchers have confirmed that the city of Austin is understaffed when it comes to police and law enforcement. The city needs more than 100 additional police officers to ensure adequate protection, the researchers said.

"An evidence-based staffing project conducted by independent researchers says that the Austin Police Department needs to have 882 patrol officers, 108 above our current authorized total," Austin Police Joseph Chacon tweeted Jan. 12.