Burglars damage South Shore Chinese restaurant | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Burglars damage South Shore Chinese restaurant

Tom Lotshaw
Friends and restaurant workers clean up Dragon Cuisine after a burglary this week.
Tom Lotshaw / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

A Chinese restaurant in South Lake Tahoe spent the last two days closed and working to reopen after someone broke in and smashed the place up.

The reported burglary at Dragon Cuisine on Lake Tahoe Boulevard occurred sometime Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. It left the family-owned business with lots to clean up.

“They just destroyed it,” said John Runnels, a friend of the family at the restaurant Thursday.

The burglar or burglars are believed to have smashed out a side window to enter the restaurant and then loaded stolen items into a vehicle out back, Runnels said.

Among items missing: Boxes of shrimp, chicken, beef and liquor.

While inside, they ripped down a clock; tore phones, phone lines and surveillance cameras out of the walls; smashed monitors, ceiling lights, buffet and table partition glass and other equipment; threw toothpicks and eggs and dishes all over; and ripped kids’ drawings and other decorations off the walls, among other damage.

They even knocked over a carved bear in the front lobby, Runnels said. He described the incident as “wanton destruction” that hurt a kind and hard-working family.

“They come here and bust their butts every day. It’s just a shame, the wanton stuff. All of us are hurting in this community but no one needs this,” Runnels said.

Helping clean up at the restaurant Thursday, family friend Clay Cunningham said it looked like more than a normal burglary to him. He estimated the damage at more than $15,000.

“They went above and beyond and sure spent a lot of time doing it,” Cunningham said.

South Lake Tahoe police officer Mark Hounsell confirmed that a commercial burglary was reported at the restaurant and that the incident remains under investigation.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the police.

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