On early Sunday morning December 18, the popular local eatery and expat hangout Common Ground was robbed.
Video footage from the apartment building behind the restaurant shows four men leaving with the stolen items, including a big-screen television, one smaller television, and two laptops. Later it was determined about $100 in cash was missing.
Owner Cari Lucas says that this is the first time the restaurant has been robbed during her two-year tenure with co-owner Paul Wilmot and the thieves knew how to bypass the Common Ground alarm system.
“The alarm never went off,” Lucas said. “They obviously knew how to get around the system and disconnect whatever needed to be cut off from the inside.”
Cuenca police filed an official report and viewed the video footage. The robbery took place about 4:20 a.m. Sunday and, although the video shows four men walking up the hill beside the restaurant with the stolen items, the images are not clear enough to identify the suspects.
Since the robbery, Lucas has been monitoring local websites that are popular for selling items in the hopes of seeing the stolen goods up for sale.
“Even though the police are on the case, I just don’t think there’s a good chance of recovery,” she said. “This is the time of year that criminals come out of the woodwork, whether it’s to find presents for Christmas or simply to sell whatever they can get.”
At this point, there are no obvious suspects. Lucas hopes to replace the stolen items but concedes, given the cost, it may take some time.
“One of the computers was used to stream college football games, which are very popular with our customers,” she said, “and the other was our manager’s personal computer, so that loss was really hard to take.”