String of robberies concerning DC area business owners

There is an uptick in thieves breaking into businesses in the District, Virginia, and Maryland.

Arthur Ringel, the Chef/Owner of DC Harvest told FOX 5 their restaurant has been broken into three times in two months – once on Christmas, the second on New Year’s, and again on Monday.

They’re not alone. Restaurants all along H Street said they are repeatedly being robbed and it’s frustrating. This week, suspects were caught on camera.

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"We had increased our security tenfold and are still baffled that someone would be so brazen to break in with a camera in their face," said Ringel.

DC Harvest surveillance video shows the robber busting through the door to break in. Later, the suspect is seen leaving the restaurant carrying a bag and kicking a chair out of the way.

According to the Metropolitan Police report, the thief got away with $650 and 25 bottles of liquor. On top of it all, the office was left completely trashed.

"I was devastated, I was shook, I was stressed, I was disappointed in this world," said Machado. "Thank goodness, nothing was physically stolen, but emotionally it’s very draining."

Ringel and Machado have a message for the thieves.

"If you are in need of actual assistance, reach out," said Ringel. "You do not need to be committing illegal crimes against small business owners who are struggling on their own."

"Stop this. Restaurants have been struggling for the last year so hard. We have been hit with something that has shook our world and while we’re all struggling with it as a world, as a community," said Machado.

READ MORE: DC task force targets carjackings as numbers continue to rise across the District

Over in Virginia, Fairfax County Police are investigating 15 commercial robberies. Suspects targeted restaurants and minority-owned businesses.

Arlington is also looking into a recent string of five burglaries.

In Maryland, Prince George’s County Police are noticing an increase in these types of crimes whereas Montgomery County is seeing a decrease compared to last year.

No suspect description or information has been released at this time.