A daring daylight burglary of Lindy’s Red Lion Wednesday led to the arrest of a Northeast man police say may be connected in a string of more than 40 District thefts over the past few months.
A Lindy’s manager interrupted a robbery in progress Wednesday morning when he opened the restaurant at 7:30 a.m. The burglar, who was carrying a bag of liquor bottles taken from the bar, threatened the manager and fled.
The thief had apparently forced open a steel-reinforced rear door of the restaurant and stole a safe and more than 30 bottles of liquor, said the manager, wishing to remain anonymous.
Lindy Adams, owner of the restaurant, called the internal damage to the restaurant “serious and substantial.”
“I heard a noise upstairs when I came to open up,” the manager said. “There was a lot of damage, so the guy must have made a lot of noise in the process. It is hard to believe that no one heard anything going on.”
The Washington Post reported that Robert Bellemy, 41, was taken into custody Wednesday morning shortly after the Lindy’s burglary. Bellemy was arrested after he let detectives into his Northeast apartment, where they found a safe stolen from the near-campus restaurant.
The Post reported that police were tipped off about Bellemy in December and found money boxes and 10 safes, some weighing up to 300 pounds, in the apartment on North Carolina Avenue, NE. Police Commander Jeffrey Moore of the Second District called the case one of the largest he has seen.
“Volume-wise, this is one of the biggest (burglary) cases I’m aware of,” Moore told The Post.
“It is really unbelievable that something like this could happen in broad daylight so close to the University,” Adams said. “This area is so safe. I guess it is just a sign of the times.”
The lower door of the restaurant had been reinforced with metal bars following a robbery several months ago and, though the robbery was captured on video surveillance equipment installed in the restaurant, Adams said she plans on installing an improved security system soon.
The Lindy’s manager said this is the third burglary of the establishment in the past year and a half.
This article appeared in the January 13, 2003 issue of the Hatchet.