Rally at Berkeley restaurant hit twice by burglars

Local community leaders and political office-seekers rallied Thursday outside Creekwood Restaurant in Berkeley, which has been hit twice by burglars in a little over a year.

"It's an off-the-chart number in Berkeley. It's off the chart in Emeryville. It's moving across the county," Chris Moore, a candidate for Alameda County supervisor said, referring to burglary statistics. 

"The main reason this is happening is, is failed policies in our community. The status quo must go." 

Organizers say financial losses from crime are killing small businesses and that elected officials need to do more.

"We need to step up as a community and unite, and if we don't, the option is, people will continue to die. More people will die, more businesses will close," said Edward Escobar of Citizens Unite.

Tuan Ngo of Asians Unite said, "We are saying, enough is enough. You either show up, show results or you need to just step off so that other people can take over and have true leadership."

There was some discord at the rally. A couple of community members like Brian Donahue of Emeryville demanded their turn at the microphone.

"You guys didn't give us any actual solutions here, I'm sorry to say. I'm willing to listen to solutions. You didn't provide them here," Donahue said.

Creekwood owner Greg Poulios wasn't at the rally but gave organizers permission to hold the event outside his business. 

"We're not a political restaurant. We're not taking a stand. We are there to serve people food and beverages and have a great time," Poulios said.

In December 2022, burglars used crowbars to break in and steal several thousand dollars in cash and an iPad.

Then, earlier this month, someone broke in by smashing through a glass door.

Politics aside, Poulios says the crimes aren't helping matters. 

"We hate people taking advantage of us or other people. We'll be fine, it's just the margins are small in restaurants, it's expensive to run a restaurant in California, Berkeley's very expensive," he said.

Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail Henry at Henry.Lee@fox.com and follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and www.facebook.com/henrykleefan