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Cosmos Cafe Burglarized for Second Time This Summer

11-year-old's tip jar emptied along with cash drawer in weekend break-in; cafe was also hit July 5.

suffered its second break-in this summer some time late Friday or early Saturday, and this time, the burglar was a real Grinch.

Besides emptying the cash register drawer, the thief robbed a tip jar – containing all the money a young girl had been saving to visit her ancestral homeland.

According to the police report:

At 9:30 a.m. Saturday, the woman who along with her husband co-owns Cosmos, 7203 W. North Ave., reported that her restaurant had been burglarized overnight, for the second time in just over two months.

The woman said that when she and her husband had left the restaurant at 10 p.m. Friday, they had carefully locked the doors. But when she started serving customers in the morning, she found the cash register drawer empty.

Her 11-year-old daughter then noticed that a tip jar on the counter also had been emptied. The girl had been saving the tip money for a trip to Greece.

The woman checked the rear door of the restaurant and found that it had been forced open, just as it was on July 5 in an earlier burglary that also cost her family all the cash in the drawer.

She said this time she had some reason to suspect a former employee who had been fired recently, but did not want to name him at this time to police in case he was not in fact responsible.

In the earlier incident, her husband had called police when he arrived to open the cafe on July 5 after being closed on Independence Day. He had found the register drawer on the floor and a trail of coins leading to the back door.

In that instance, nothing other than the cash drawer had been disturbed.

Ray Ray Johnson September 23, 2011 at 03:08 PM
OK Jon, you made a convincing argument about insurance premiums lowered with installation of security cameras. I trust that you are making this comment with knowledge that those discounts are reality, because I don't know that. I do know that North Ave is the main artery for crime circulating here. We the people are the only ones who can stop the problem, whenever and whereever such crime happens.
gardengirl September 25, 2011 at 01:37 PM
They do pay for a security system. It is called the Wauwatosa Police Department. A burgler was recently caught in Menomonee Falls after just a couple burglaries. He lived at 70th and North and when they searched his place they found he was most likely the culprit in up to 20 more burglaries in Wauwatosa. If Menomonee Falls can catch him after 2 it makes me wonder if Wauwatosa should not have been able to do the same. Maybe if that cop I see every morning at the bottom of the 76th and North Ave hill every morning spent more time touring and less time waiting to give someone a ticket who doesn't sit on their brake all the way down the hill they might have a better chance. And no, I am not speaking out of anger.. I don't have any tickets and I respect our police but this has gone on long enough, I live near Cosmos and several of my neighbors bought security systems this summer. After 28 previously peaceful years in Wauwatosa I just don't feel safe any more. Cosmos is great. The people are wonderful and their daughter is a delight. I plan on doubling the tip I leave. I am going to talk to them about helping install a budget friendly safe.
Kay Parfield September 25, 2011 at 02:50 PM
Lock up the money!!!!! If the cash drawer does not come out then take the cash out and lock it up in a "secret" secured location. BTW...Don't take it with you either. We had a family-run business in 'Tosa for 65 years and believe me it was well worth the time to refill the till in the morning instead of having no cash at all.
Ray Ray Johnson September 25, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Gardengirl, I see the rovng tax collector collecting tax every morning on that hill. Sometimes in both directions at the same time. Not to confuse the issue here, but it is a bad place to speed; it's an area filled with kids going to school. However, I see and understand your sentiment away from the actual necessary logistic and safety problems of slowing traffic in that specific area at that specific time of day. Here's the problem with Police in general: we don't want our freedom infringed, so the cops can't usually PREVENT a dirtbag from doing what a dirtbag do, but we hire them to mop up the messes after they happen. We don't know what mistake the dirtbag in the Falls made to trip himself up there so quickly. Maybe he made it easy for their cops, like falling asleep in the bathroom of the place he robbed, and maybe he just didn't do that here; I don't know. But with over 120 cops on the payroll, you'd think that they could find a quicker solution to over 20 burglaries, than the Falls cops did after 2. The Falls cops should be the ones mad at the Tosa cops for letting the problem migrate without Tosa first catching this guy after SO MANY burglaries. The problem here is that the cops will tell you that burglary is way down on the list of priority calls, since the damage is done, insurance covers the loss (in many cases), and no one is in immediate danger (in most cases.). Allow me to state where this always leads to in my book: Arm yourself. Protect yourself.
Ray Ray Johnson September 25, 2011 at 03:54 PM
Absolutely, Katie. Part of a small retailer's cash management procedure has to be one for dealing with the cash drawer and petty cash. Daily accounting, even mid-day accounting if there are several people in the drawer, has to happen, as well as removal of the cash drawer for safekeeping at the close of business. A small safe bolted to the floor is effective, and safer than walking out the back door with the money in a bag after closing. A real pro can get in that small safe, but I doubt that a real pro would single out a small cafe and family owned restaurant. But you are totally correct, and the few minutes it takes to re-fill the drawer before opening should be part of the day's opening procedures.

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