Thomas Square restaurant owner meets with city, county leaders after being burglarized twice

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 10:47 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Two burglaries happened just days apart and a restaurant owner in Thomas Square thinks that makes them a target.

It’s on video — a person coming through an entry point in the ceiling using tools to pry open outdoor coolers full of food. They passed the food under the door before taking off.

It all took place at Ardsley Station. The owner, Tyler Kopkas, said they’ve been hit pretty hard.

Kopkas said: “Thousands of dollars, $4-5,000.”

Just looking at the surveillance footage, it looks like it’s the same person.

“You feel violated,” he said.

WTOC wasn’t able to get more comprehensive data from Savannah Police in time for this story, but based on crime stats from their website, there have been two other burglaries in that area in the past year.

Since we noticed the suspect only took food, we asked the owner could the person just be in need?

“Our city is growing,” Kopkas said. “It could be an issue of folks not having food or access to food.”

Homelessness and crime are an ongoing problem in the Kopkas said they also had to make investments to so the restaurant is more secure.

“We don’t want our guests supporting us who are our lifeline to feel unsafe coming here.”

He said this isn’t just a city or county problem and he wants other business owners in the area to see how they can come together and be a part of a solution. He said he’s already heard from some. That idea is still in its early stages.

“As a group, we’re only stronger and more effective together.”

The business owner said to his knowledge, the suspect hasn’t been caught. When Kopkas met with city and county leaders this week, that included Savannah Police Chief Lenny Gunter. Kopkas said he did ask for increased patrols.