Thief Steals Cash From Provecho Grill in Early Morning Burglary

Provecho Grill, a popular Mexican restaurant in the Sun City Shopping Center in Menifee, was burg...

Provecho Grill, a popular Mexican restaurant in the Sun City Shopping Center in Menifee, was burglarized early this morning.

According to Provecho owner Rosie O'Connor, the burglary occurred about 4:30 a.m. and was reported sometime later when a maintenance worker discovered the front glass door shattered. An undisclosed amount of cash was taken from a cash register.

Security video shows a single thief wearing a ski mask smashing cash registers and ransacking cabinets, apparently looking for more cash. O'Connor said it appears he was inside the restaurant for only about five minutes before leaving with cash he stuffed into a black bag.

O'Connor said the security video also shows a man pulling up to the front of the store and smashing through the front glass with a sledgehammer. He then left for about 10 minutes -- apparently waiting to see if an alarm would alert police -- before returning to enter the restaurant.

O'Connor's business partner, Kristoffer Kuhns, said it appeared that the thief was experienced in what he was doing.

"This is definitely somebody who's a pro at this," Kuhns said. "He knew to pull up to the business, smash the door and pull away to see if anyone would show up. Then he climbed through the window and was inside just a few minutes -- just long enough to grab the cash and go."

Police are reviewing the security video. Menifee 24/7 will update this story with a still shot from the video and a complete description of the suspect as soon as it is available. According to Kuhns, the suspect was wearing a blue long-sleeved shirt, dark pants, black sneakers, gloves and a ski mask, making it very difficult to identify him. O'Connor said he appeared to be a "big guy," at least 200 pounds.

"He threw down the registers to break them open, took cash and then went into the office," O'Connor said. "He took my phone. That's what really upsets me. All my private information is on there."

Despite the incident, O'Connor and Kuhns said they plan to open for business as usual at 10 a.m. today. The front door is being repaired and at least one of the registers can still be used.