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March 26, 2017

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With humorous YouTube video, restaurant manager turns tables on burglars

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Submitted / YouTube

Suspects in a Dec. 16 burglary of Frijoles & Frescas Grilled Tacos, 7000 W. Charleston Blvd., are shown in an image taken from security camera footage from the restaurant. The establishment’s manager, Greg Carlson, used the footage to create a humorous YouTube video that asks for the public’s help in identifying the burglars. The video, titled “Burglars Just Want Tacos,” suggests the suspects entered the restaurant because they had an irresistible craving for the establishment’s tacos. It had drawn more than 1 million views as of Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2015.

Burglars Just Want Tacos

Using a recipe of resilience and creativity, the manager of a Las Vegas restaurant concocted a clever way to get even with burglars who broke into the establishment last week.

Greg Carlson, who manages Frijoles & Frescas Grilled Tacos at 7000 W. Charleston Blvd., used security camera footage of the break-in to put together a humorous YouTube video that shows images of the burglars and asks viewers to help identify them.

Titled "Burglars Just Want Tacos," the video's premise is that the burglars broke into the restaurant because they wanted Frijoles tacos so badly.

“We wanted a way to get the word out there, and thought we could reach more people by making it a little more light-hearted," Carlson said.

It worked. The video has generated more than 1 million views since it was posted. Not only has it drawn a great deal of attention to the suspects, it has generated an increase in business for the restaurant and helped Carlson land a live interview by CNN this afternoon.

Carlson said he used “six or seven” years’ experience of making family home videos on YouTube to produce his entertaining version of the robbery, which utilizes text overlays on the security video to spoof the burglars as they ransack the restaurant.

"Guy wants a taco," it reads as a burglar getting out of a car and tries the door. "Restaurant is closed."

The video then shows the burglar trying and failing to throw a rock through the glass door, then going to another door and successfully breaking it with a rock.

"Guy reaalllly wants a taco," an overlay reads, then fades as a second burglar appears on the screen. "So does his homeboy."

As the burglars ransack the restaurant, the video suggests they're frantically looking everywhere for tacos.

"Maybe they keep the tacos in the register," it reads as a burglar examines a cash drawer.

After the robbers flee the scene of the crime, the video cuts to close-up shots of tacos topped with grilled meats, vegetables and guacamole, and a disclaimer from the restaurant saying it takes responsibility that its tacos may cause people to do unexpected things.

Not only did the burglars end up being seen by millions of pairs of eyes, they didn’t get away with much money, either.

“When it’s all said and done, the damage they did here was really minimal,” Carlson said.

But for Metro Police, the burglary was just the latest crime in which the three individuals were suspected.

“These three individuals are part of a larger string of burglaries in which smaller restaurants and fast food restaurants with glass windows are being targeted and ransacked,” Metro spokesman Michael Rodriguez said. “We have not identified any suspects in this case, but we are aware of what’s going on.”

Rodriguez said the break-ins occurred both in Las Vegas and outside of Metro’s jurisdiction. He said the burglary at Frijoles & Frescas was under investigation.

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