Caught on Camera: Thief Uses Pots, Pans to Open Safe at South Loop Restaurant

"The safe is pretty old, so even for us it was really, really hard to open it," a restaurant worker said. "He struggled for about 40 minutes."

Like something out of a heist movie, surveillance video caught a thief breaking into a South Loop restaurant's safe last week using kitchen items and a large file, ultimately making off with thousands of dollars.

The suspect tried to break into two businesses early Friday morning on the 1300 block of South Wabash, police said. He managed to get into Gioco, an Italian restaurant on the block, by smashing in the front door.

Victor Marin, a worker at Gioco, said the suspect first went to the bar, but after realizing money wasn't kept there, he headed to the basement safe.

"The safe is pretty old, so even for us it was really, really hard to open it," Marin said. "He struggled for about 40 minutes."

The thief didn't realize, at least not right away, that surveillance cameras were recording.

Once he noticed a camera, he turned it around and continued to work, using a wide array of tools to crack open the safe.

"He used all these big pots over here," Marin said, showing large kitchen pots. "This little thing, I don't even know what this is. These are the tools he actually used to open the door."

The restaurant said the man got away with $5,000 from the safe.

That same morning, police said the suspect tried to break into Flo & Santos on the block but was scared off by a worker. Marin said he hopes police catch the man before he hits another business.

"What if somebody was in here," Marin said. "What if he was armed."

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