NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The North Charleston Police Department is working with Charleston police investigators to determine if two recent Chinese restaurant burglaries are related to three similar incidents that happened in the past few days.
The Charleston Police Department is currently investigating three West Ashley Chinese restaurant burglaries that happened late Sunday night and early Monday morning where the front glass door was shattered and money was taken. NCPD officials released reports on Tuesday regarding two Chinese restaurants burglaries in their jurisdiction where the front door glass had been shattered and money was taken from one of the businesses.
On Tuesday at 5:37 a.m., a North Charleston police officer responded to the Ocean City restaurant on 5101 Ashley Phosphate Rd. for a reported burglary. When the officer arrived he found the front door glass had been shattered, and a cinder block inside the store on the floor.
Authorities say a passerby who was walking his dog saw the broken door and called police. A police report states that nothing appeared to have been taken from the store.
NCPD officials are also investigating a burglary at the Yum Yum Express Chinese restaurant on 6877 Dorchester Rd. On Saturday morning, a police officer responded to the restaurant after a concerned citizen called.
The officer found that the front door glass of the restaurant had been busted out. Inside the restaurant, the officer found a chuck of asphalt that was used to break the glass on the door.
The owner of the restaurant said someone had taken money from the cash register and from a container under the counter. An incident report indicates that the burglary happened between 5:20 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.
Charleston police officials say the Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant, China Fun and Jade Garden, all in West Ashley, had their windows broken and money taken. CPD officials said an investigation is underway to determine if the burglaries in their jurisdiction are related.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 577-7434 or Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.
In addition, the Summerville Police Department, the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office and the Charleston County Sheriff's Office are investigating similar Chinese restaurant burglaries in their jurisdictions.
Community leader Georgia Richard works with the Chinese community and knows most of the restaurant owners.
"I think it's an easy target and they know most times they got cash," Richard said.
On Sept. 23 at 7:29 a.m., a Dorchester County deputy responded to the Oriental Express on 3750 Ashley Phosphate Rd for a break-in and found the front door glass broken. The owner of the restaurant reported that money had been taken from the register and the tip jar. Video surveillance showed a white male, about 5'10", 190 pounds, short brown hair, slight facial hair and wearing jeans, a sweater, a heavy blue coat and white gloves. The video showed the subject walk behind the restaurant and pick up a concrete block and use it to smash the front door glass of the business.
The subject is then seen opening the cash register and nearby drawers. A police report states the subject was then seen taking cash from the tip jar before leaving the restaurant through a rear door.
Charleston Co. Deputies also responded to a similar incident on Aug. 27 at the Panda Palace on 1119 Wappoo Rd. where the front door glass had also been shattered and money taken from the cash register.
On Sept.22 at 10 p.m., a Summerville police officer responded to the New Winner Chinese restaurant on 402 C. North Cedar St. in reference to a possible vandalism. The officer found that the restaurant's front glass door had been damaged. Police also located a piece of concrete on the floor inside the restaurant. The business owner said someone had taken money from the cash register and from a plastic tip jar.