VISTA — The mayor of Vista is urging the community to support Nucci’s Italian Café after thieves shattered the glass door to gain entry into the establishment in the early morning hours of July 24, stealing several items and causing thousands of dollars in damage.
The suspects reportedly broke into the family-owned restaurant located at 1580 S. Melrose Avenue between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Monday and stole a cash register, two self-ordering merchant tablets and other items, according to Det. Sgt. Adam Milligan of the Vista Sheriff’s Station.
Law enforcement has not yet determined the total value of items stolen from the restaurant.
Mayor John Franklin, who is friends with the Nucci family, posted to social media about the break-in and asked residents to support the local business. Franklin, who helped board up the restaurant’s broken glass door just hours after the burglary occurred, said the thieves smashed the register in an attempt to open it, but the register wasn’t locked and would have opened with the press of a button.
Several quarters were left inside the register, but the thieves made off with a pair of electronic to-go tablets from online food-delivery companies DoorDash and Grubhub, potentially costing the restaurant between $3,000 and $5,000 in lost revenue. The thieves did not steal the UberEats tablet, which is still active at Nucci’s.
The restaurant has since ordered new tablets and are expected to arrive in approximately a week.
According to Milligan, law enforcement has yet to identify any suspects in the burglary. At the time, Nucci’s did not have security cameras. Detectives are reviewing the footage from cameras in the strip mall and surrounding areas.
Franklin directed some of his frustrations over the burglary toward state lawmakers and policies he believes have allowed petty criminals to run wild without fear of punishment. The Vista mayor said he witnessed an individual load up a backpack and walk out of a Walgreens on Sycamore Avenue without paying.
“Family businesses have been thrown under the bus because of the failure of the State of California not enforcing laws,” Franklin said. “There’s no punishment.”
Milligan said anyone with knowledge is urged to call (760) 940-4551 or (760) 940-4551.
For more local crime news, please read The Coast News’ Weekly Crime Reports and Daily Arrest Logs for up-to-the-minute arrest reports in North County. Visit the San Diego County Sheriff’s website for more information about arrests, cold cases and active alerts.