Venice Cafe Hit by Burglars, Vows to Re-Open

Kevin Killeen

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Venice Cafe is vowing to re-open, after burglars broke in a second-story window, mangled open a safe and stole $6,000.

The break-in, the second in as many years at the Benton Park bar, came sometime after closing early Saturday morning. General Manager Chad Taylor says it appears two burglars climbed down from the roof of the abandoned building next door, used power tools to unbolt burglar bars on a second floor window. Taylor says the window had been unlocked from the inside earlier, leading him to believe the burglars had drinks inside before the crime.

“I guarantee they were people who sat at this very bar,” Taylor said, “They checked us out, probably paid the cover, had a few drinks, then waited for me to walk out and came back at the end of the night.”

Mangled safe after brazen burglary at Venice Cafe

Mangled safe after brazen burglary at Venice Cafe (Credit: Kevin Killeen, KMOX)

Taylor says police are cooperative and working some leads, but he says city hall has been “doing nothing” to board up and take action against the vacant building next door through which the burglars made their approach.

Venice Cafe in Benton Park, getting ready to re-open after second burglary

Venice Cafe in Benton Park, getting ready to re-open after second burglary (Credit: Kevin Killeen, KMOX)

The Venice Cafe is known for its whimsical, Bohemian decor — everything from frog statues, to mannequin parts and paint-by-number landscapes. Taylor says none of that was disturbed or stolen.

The burglars went for the office, broke into the safe and stole a computer, he said.

Venice Cafe plans to re-open right away and may have a benefit to help recover some of its losses.

Copyright KMOX.

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