PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — “They knew to cut the wires. They knew to take the DVR. It’s just ridiculous.”
During decades of business, John’s Roast Pork in South Philadelphia has been burglarized before, but never this brazenly, says owner John Bucci.
“It’s very upsetting,” Bucci told Eyewitness News on Friday.
Because the thieves took the DVR, there is no surveillance video to review, but repair crews quickly found the entrance and exit points on the roof.
According to Bucci, the thieves had the tools and skills to break the lock on the exhaust fan, remove the motor then shimmy down the vent to steal nearly $5,000 in cash.
Bucci says the thieves got in around 3 a.m. Friday, unsuccessfully tried to break into an ATM machine, then got away with the register box instead.
“They also took $1,500 earmarked for the ‘Be The Match Foundation.’ We raise money for them because that’s where I got the marrow for my bone-marrow transplant,” he said.
Several years ago, Bucci needed a bone-marrow transplant while battling leukemia.
In a show of solidarity, Frank Olivieri, the owner of Pat’s Cheesesteaks, dropped off a check to replace the money that had been intended for the charity.
He recently started his own foundation called “Spread the Wiz” and says he wanted to give back.
“Philadelphians, we take care of each other. It’s a horrible thing that someone would come up with an idea to do that and take money earmarked for a charity,” Olivieri said.
Adam Spivak, co-owner of the Electric Factory venue, also donated $1,500.
Around lunchtime Friday, many customers stopped by to buy a sandwich only to discover a handmade sign notifying them the shop was closed due to a burglary.
“That’s awful. Why would someone do that?” said Elizabeth Walker-Romero, who drove from Delaware with her two kids to try John’s Roast Pork.
“This was actually our first time. We saw it on Yelp and wanted to try the cheesesteaks,” said Sedona Walker.
Regular customers like Lisa Dozier were also disappointed.
“There are a lot of other spots, some good and some bad, but none like John’s Roast Pork,” Dozier said.
Bucci hopes to reopen Saturday.
Though news of a burglary isn’t what any business owner wants to wake up to, he is remaining positive.
“We’re just a small place trying to make a living. Something like this, it hurts my employees. But you know what, the main thing is no one got hurt. I’m always fearing someone coming in and robbing us at gunpoint. As long as no one got hurt, it’s replaceable,” he said.