The co-owner of the Israeli restaurant in Texas is recovering from the discovery of vandalism that occurred there on Tuesday morning, which he described as “psychological warfare against the Israeli community”.
A burglar is said to have entered Taste of Tel Aviv, a family-run Kosher Israeli restaurant in the Houston area, at around three in the morning on Tuesday by making a big hole in the ceiling, according to FOX 26 Houston. There were also broken glass fragments in the front entrance.
A few hours later, at about 8:05 a.m., Houston police were alerted about a delayed burglary at the location.
“They came in through the roof, they came prepared, they cut through asphalt, concrete, and aluminium roof,” said Pam Baylis, co-owner and day-to-day manager. The true owner of the establishment is Israeli and does not live in Texas.
The guy began smashing and damaging everything as soon as he got inside, including a cash register that looked to be beyond repair. In addition, prayer books were taken.
“The Israeli community is frightened. It’s not only a violent act, but it’s a psychological warfare against the Israeli community,” Baylis said.
The proprietors of Taste of Tel Aviv think the burglary was motivated by antisemitism because threats had been made against the business before the break-in, even though Houston police are not treating the incident as a hate crime, according to FOX 26.
The eatery was displaying the Israeli flag, which Baylis finally felt compelled to take down, which is supposedly why the threats were made.
In a statement posted on X, previously Twitter, on Tuesday night, Houston police acknowledged the worries expressed by the Jewish community in the wake of the Taste of Tel Aviv burglary, but they also stated that it “appears that this incident was not motivated by hate.”
“We are aware of the concerns within the Jewish community following the restaurant burglary earlier today at 9804 Hillcroft Avenue,” Houston police wrote. “Based on the preliminary investigation and evidence review, it appears that this incident was not motivated by hate. It is believed to be the work of a lone individual who was burglarizing the business and trying to steal anything of value before fleeing the scene.”
The suspect, who had something concealing their face and was all black, looked to have a tattoo. They haven’t been identified or taken into custody yet. HPS or Houston CrimeStoppers are requesting that anyone with information on a possible suspect and their location get in touch with them.
In order to assist the family with the repairs required to reopen the restaurant, a GoFundMe page has also been established. The total amount raised was almost $16,800 as of early Wednesday morning.