VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Two Virginia Beach businesses are trying to find who stole their outdoor furniture over the weekend.
Both Pioneer Pizza Bar and Sweetwater Cuisine of Virginia Beach Boulevard and Thalia Drive say someone stole their patio furniture early Sunday morning.
“It’s frustrating because it’s been a very long year for everyone in the industry and when we’re just seeing the light of day, this happens. It’s just infuriating,” said Jodi Newland, who is the owner of Sweetwater Cuisine.
Newland says she noticed the missing furniture when she showed up to work Sunday morning for their brunch hours. She originally thought someone had moved the warehouse behind their restaurant.
But then, they realized it was stolen when they found one of their hotboxes in front of a store next door.
Security camera footage provided by Newland shows a white truck pulling in at 12:45 a.m. What’s even more shocking is the same truck came back around 6:30 a.m.
“They pulled up, spent 10 minutes gathering patio tables and chairs. They returned at 6:20 in the morning and spent 10 minutes behind the restaurant taking hotboxes, coolers, mats, and trash cans,” she said.
Newland says they also took cork coolers and umbrellas. All together, the loss is about $2,000.
“We’ve all thought about that if it’s someone trying to start a business. I’d say now is not the time, but it’s something we’re contemplating,” she said, referring to the items that were stolen.
Just a couple of building down, Pioneer Pizza Bar owner Linda Tran is also trying to figure out why.
“I felt enraged, shock, disbelief,” she said. “During this time when people take your stuff, we’ve worked so hard to put out, just trying to keep up, keep our doors open and someone just comes right by in the matter of four minutes and takes our stuff. We’ve never had that type of problem in our area before. It’s just tough to swallow.”
Tran says she also immediately noticed the furniture missing on Sunday morning, but thought the business’ management might have put it away to clean the area.
Tran says knowing their furniture was stolen is just another thing they have to worry about during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re in the same boat as they are. We are struggling too. We are not here making a ton of money. We’re trying to make ends meet. We understand everyone is in the same predicament and we are too,” she said.
Both owners are grateful for the community’s support, especially the other restaurants in the area.
Tran says Tap It reached out and donated a table and chairs for them to use.
Newland says the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association also reached out.
She also filed a police report.
The truck in question is a 2002 Ford F150 with a single cab. It did not have a front license plate. They also checked other businesses’ security camera footage such as Aldi’s.
“Bring it back,” she said to those who took the items. “Come back at night when nobody’s here and leave the stuff… They would’ve been better off just asking for help, because I’m coming for them now. I’m mad.”
If you have any information, you can contact the Virginia Beach Police Department.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887) or submit a tip online.