Tito and Pep burglarized over holiday weekend

Restaurant robbed of recipes

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tito and Pep on Speedway near Alvernon was broken into Saturday night with a suspect stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of items, including recipes.

But even though money and electronics are missing, the owner and head chef, John Martinez, said the biggest thing they were robbed of was their security.

"To have your home violated like that was the biggest thing that was kind of taken,” said Martinez.

The scene of the crime is already stitched back up. Martinez said the man got into the restaurant through a piece of the roof that was being worked on. He believes it was a two man job, but that only one was caught on camera.

"He kind of lowered down via the rope landed right her on our pass table and then kind of covered themselves from our security camera,” said Martinez.

The man ransacked the place, taking their safe and computers, including the one that held years’ worth of work.

“A number of recipes dating back years and years were on that computer, only on that computer.” Martinez said that there were hard copies of some of them, but the main archive of the recipes are all lost.

What makes this situation even more sour is that Martinez has been down this road before.

Back in Nov. of 2018, right after Tito and Pep opened, a hooded figure was caught on camera bringing a bag full of rocks to throw at Martinez’s restaurant.

"You know the vandalism that kind of took place not long after we opened was definitely disheartening. But even then it was kind of like we’re going to keep going and keep our momentum," said Martinez.

Martinez covered up the shattered windows with pieces of plywood that would later be painted by a friend and local artist.

“They’re custom windows, they’re going to take a while to get finally put back into place. But in the meantime people are like, ‘I think you should keep them.’” said Martinez in an interview with KOLD back in 2018.

Martinez did keep the pieces of art that are now on the side of the building.

His cup-half-full attitude is still present here today, even with the business working to pick up the pieces. And with Martinez no where near ready to throw in the towel.

"It’s a chance to really look at moving forward and starting a new,” said Martinez.

Martinez said around $5,000 worth of damages were done in this latest incident.

But he says the money can be replaced. It’s the family photos and memories that were also on that laptop that cannot.

Police were at the restaurant earlier on Tuesday to gather evidence, but no arrests have been made.

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