ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) – A police sting operation led to the arrest of a man in connection with a restaurant break-in in Escondido.
According to Escondido police, 39-year-old Fernandus Myers was arrested on suspicion of burglary, auto theft, possession of stolen property, and grand theft following a reported burglary at the BAPS! Restaurant at 2680 S. Escondido Blvd.
Police are still searching for a second person believed to be involved in the break-in.
BAPS! co-owner Brad Solley said the theft happened Sunday in broad daylight. Two masked men were caught on security cameras breaking into an outdoor storage area and loading equipment into the back of a pickup truck.
"They stole about $2,000 in products, including a portable generator, and a mix of other tools," Solley said.
Restaurant officials posted the video online, and within hours, someone contacted them saying the stolen equipment was posted for sale. That's when the police got involved.
"The officers were able to set up a sting the same day. They set up a delivery point to 'buy' the product," Solley said. "They had them meet them right off West Valley Parkway. (He) pulled up to a gas station expecting to meet his buyer, met a detective undercover, and the rest is history."
Solley said they've had several break-ins and cases of vandalism since summer 2018 when they started remodeling the restaurant for opening.
"If they see it's a construction site, they know that people aren't going to be there after hours, and there's likely going to be a lot of expensive tools," he said.
The restaurant's grand opening is set for Dec. 21.