Rifle restaurant burglarized for the third time in nine months | AspenTimes.com

Rifle restaurant burglarized for the third time in nine months

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent

RIFLE – Jennifer Shavalier seemed to be more irritated than surprised Tuesday morning when she discovered that her business, Mancinelli’s Pizza, had been broken into during the night.

It’s the third time that vandals have broken into the establishment in the past nine months, Shavalier said. The last burglary occurred about six months ago, Shavalier said, with the first incident occurring about two months prior.

According to Shavalier, an employee who arrived to open the restaurant around 9 a.m. Tuesday contacted her and said that when they arrived at work they found a rock had been thrown through the rear door window and the establishment had been vandalized.

Police responded to the break-in call just before 7 a.m. Tuesday morning, according to Rifle Police Chief Daryl Meisner. However, Police believe that the incident occurred before 3 a.m.

Rifle Police were unable to reach Shavalier at the time because of an incorrect phone number.

Meisner said that this incident seemed similar to past break-ins in that each time the burglars entered the restaurant the same way, however he could not say if the crimes were related.

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“Someone gained entry through the rear door by breaking the glass pane and opening the door,” he said. “It’s hard to say if [the three incidents] are related.”

The burglars left some trash around and appeared to have made some sandwiches, Meisner said. He also indicated that the suspects got away with a “minimal” amount of change from the cash register.

Police don’t have any suspects at this time and Meisner said that he could only speculate on a motive in the case. He added that Rifle Police have had an increase in burglaries this year.

“We’ve had other burglaries around town, too,” he said. “These are not the only ones.”

Meisner referred to a string of burglaries at local churches which have occurred over the past several months. Meisner said, anecdotally, he thinks that the increase in burglaries coincides with the tough economic times.

“It may have something to do with the economic times,” Meisner said.

Shavalier is concerned that more break-ins will occur because no arrests have been made in any of the cases involving her restaurant.

“Nothing seems to come of it,” Shavalier said.

Shavalier spent much of Tuesday cleaning up her restaurant, once again. But she was relieved that they didn’t do more damage.

“They didn’t get much money,” she said. “But they absolutely trashed the place.”

Just a few months earlier the building was also struck by lightning which caused some serious damage to the building, Shavalier said. That incident ended up being a “blessing in disguise,” she said because she was able to do some remodeling.

jgardner@postindependent.com