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Local restaurant burglarized, BPD unable to fully investigate due to lack of resources

Barrington's Jamaican Kitchen remains open amid robbery
Posted at 11:11 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 02:11:03-05

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — On Sunday, around 9:30 a.m, Barrington Lewis, owner of Barrington's Jamaican Kitchen restaurant, off of Ming Ave. was burglarized.

The Bakersfield Police Department states they have not been able to send a unit out, due to lack of resources.

Lewis when arriving at his restaurant, discovered glass covering the floor, a broken window, and two iPads missing totaling $1500 in damages.

"I still opened at 11 a.m. and that same day I was serving food," Lewis said. "I was using my cell phone as my systems because my cash register was messed up, so it was just another day."

Lewis says he immediately called BPD, on Sunday, to report the crimes. He was told that officers would follow up with a call or unit, but they never did.

Lewis obtained a surveillance video from a neighboring business Weinerschnitzel, of the alleged burglars. Soon, he called BPD again to follow up.

"I called 911 again yesterday, on Tuesday morning, that the perpetrators were in the area," Lewis said. "I spotted them and they [BPD] took the information. I was expecting someone to come out, but again nobody came out."

Lewis says he received a call from BPD late Tuesday, where they apologized for the delay.

23ABC spoke with Sgt. Nathan McCauley of BPD, who shares that Lewis's information was taken down through their Telephonic Reporting System.

McCauley adds the delay is due to a lack of resources available.

"I am not happy being a part of an organization, knowing that we would have calls hold for 3-to-4 days on any kind of call," McCauley said. "We have to deploy the resources appropriately."

McCauley says he plans to speak with the Telephonic Reporting department that took Lewis's initial call.

He says he will ensure they are clear with callers, on whether an officer is coming out that day, or if they are following up with a phone call.

McCauley encourages callers to ask for clarification with dispatchers to avoid confusion.

Also, he states that the department is always in need of additional resources to meet the demand of the community.

According to McCauley, BPD has 370 officers to serve nearly half a million people.

"Sometimes those calls come quickly, sometimes they take longer to get people out there, and looks like that call is still holding," McCauley said. "Obviously, this is something we want to get better at and we don’t want calls to hold for 2.5 days like it has been at this point."

Lewis says despite the confusion he is continuing to move forward. Lewis is known for donating food at the end of the day, to anyone in need, especially homeless individuals.

"I do not believe in throwing food away," Lewis said. With a heavy heart, he shares he may know who the culprits are.

"I guess you can call it hearsay, but the people who broke in were also homeless," said Lewis. "To be able to help these people in terms of feeding and to find out that someone in the group would violate the function of the kitchen is disheartening."

Lewis adds with a smile, he will continue to feed those in need and keep all evidence until BPD shows up.

BPD shares that if individuals find themselves in a similar situation, of an investigation being delayed to do the following.

Make sure that one keeps all evidence, such as video surveillance or any items that individuals might have touched, to further help their investigation.