Mystic - One or more burglars broke into the Voodoo Grill in Mystic early Saturday and stole a safe full of cash the owner had collected from the Taste of Mystic event and planned to deposit Monday, the maintenance supervisor at Factory Square said.
"I feel so bad for the guy, you know?" said Steven DeMartino, who has worked at Factory Square on Water Street for 17 years. "You work every day and somebody just takes what you've got."
Restaurant owner Wes Clark could not be reached Tuesday.
The Voodoo Grill is one of three restaurants and five businesses in Factory Square. The building also has 36 apartments.
DeMartino, who lives in one of the apartments, said he heard noise at about 4 a.m. Saturday, but thought nothing of it because he often hears people outside late downtown.
"I heard a loud bang," he said.
After he woke and then returned from breakfast at about 8 a.m., he said the courtyard was full of police officers.
Lt. John Varone said the patrol division responded on Saturday for a report of a commercial burglary.
"It's actively being investigated, and at this time we're not ready to discuss any of the details of the investigation," he said.
Kristen Bach, who co-owns the Courtyard Gallery with her husband at Factory Square, said they've been there nine years and have never had an issue. She said she was at the gallery Friday night but left before any burglary would have taken place.
DeMartino said the burglar or burglars must have known the restaurant, because they entered by pulling down and breaking off the lock on a kitchen window, which was not connected to the restaurant's burglar alarm. The burglar also found the safe, he said.
DeMartino said the owner's daughter closed the bar at 3:30 a.m. Saturday.
DeMartino said that later that morning, she noticed one of the floodlights was off outside the kitchen window in the courtyard.
DeMartino said Clark had thousands in cash plus checks after the busy Taste of Mystic weekend.
"It wiped him right out," DeMartino said.