Antioch Police: 4 hours to respond to in-progress restaurant burglary

The Mexican restaurant, Cocina, posted a video of broken glass and damaged property at their location on Lone Tree Way.

The Hillcrest Restaurant and Taphouse was also burglarized. The Hillcrest owner told the Contra Costa News it took police almost four hours to respond.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, two burglars broke into Antioch's Hillcrest Restaurant and Taphouse as well as Cocina Medina Mexican Restaurant by smashing windows.

The Taphouse system notified the manager who immediately called the police, watching the crime on his computer recorded on the many restaurant cameras, yet there was no immediate police response even with the burglars inside.

A few minutes later he says he called dispatch back again. 

"Called dispatch back in the middle of that, telling them that I was watching that, and they told me that there wasn't nobody available at that time to come out, and they would be there as soon as possible," said Taphouse manager Dwayne Gilliland.

The unhurried and apparently unworried criminals were thorough. 

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"Eight to 10 minutes walking through the restaurant. They went through every cabinet, every cupboard, the employee lockers; took their time going through everything. Around 13 to 14 minutes from the time they broke the first door until the time they loaded up outside the side door," said Gilliland.

"It's hard to understand when you have an active burglary in progress, and you have visual of it and still can't get anybody to come out," said Gilliland. 

"Four hours, I'm sorry, it's just unacceptable. Is unacceptable," said Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe. Police Officer's Association agrees that more police officers are needed, but the POA and the Mayor disagree on many other issues.

The Antioch Police Department has since apologized.

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"All of our officers were committed to high-priority calls, and we did not respond in a timely manner to these burglary incidents. We have looked into both incidents, found areas where we could've done better, and are taking immediate steps to address it," police said in a statement.

The police chief has since issued a written apology; however, the Police Officer's Association blames it squarely on inadequate staffing and on the mayor.

Thorpe says progress is underway on many fronts. 

"We've done police reform. We've passed a $30,000 incentive to attract new officers. We have historic numbers going to the academy right now. We've got critical work to do to keep the citizens of Antioch safe. I have made that commitment and that continues to be my priority. I don't have time for the police union's game." he said.

Gilliland said he understands the police shortage and gave officers this much credit. 

"The officers, once they responded, reacted to it and did a great job on follow-up," he said.

Thanks in large part to the tap house video, Antioch police arrested and jailed two suspects.