Owners, manager looking for information about break-in at local restaurant

Robberies can happen anywhere, even in a small town of 1,330 people. We’re not immune to crime.

At about 8:15 p.m. Sunday night, June 17, the staff of Doc’s Blue Moose closed up for the night. The tables were cleaned, dishes cleaned and put away, chairs up. The monetary makings were safely tucked in the 100 lb. safe in the basement of the business. The lights were turned off and the doors were locked.

But someone, or perhaps two, knew where to find the key to unlock the basement, sneak in and make off with the 100 lb. safe with about $8,000 to $10,000, receipts and other documents.

It was then on Monday morning, June 18, before 8:30 a.m. that the safe was discovered missing. There was no evidence of damage during the robbery. No other valuable items were taken, such as liquor or the TVs inside the bar and restaurant combination.

“Someone knew there would be cash in there. It would clearly be the focus after a weekend,” owner Mike Schmidt said. “The question is, did anyone see anything?”

Schmidt and manager Kris Weidl hope someone from the general public might have seen something strange or unusual during those hours at the business.

“People ought to know about this,” Schmidt said. “If anyone was out late or early walking, or if anyone heard anything about it, we want to know.”

Since there was no damage in the robbery, authorities believe it could have been an inside job, whereas a former employee knew of the location of the key or a current employee indirectly told a former employee about where the key and the safe were kept.

“It only makes sense,” Weidl said. “I think they had to get the information from a current employee, but maybe that employee didn’t realize what they’re saying.”

With the crime happening more than a month ago, Schmidt and Weidl hoped for news, but to no avail. At the very least, they hoped someone had seen something but has not come forward yet.

“It’s really devastating,” Weidl said. “You feel violated, cheated. It’s hard to feel trusting.”

After the robbery, the business is taking extra precautions. Weidl said she’s much more aware of details in the restaurant now.

Schmidt said no one expects robberies to happen and hoped people would do the right thing in Spring Grove if they saw something or know of something concerning the robbery.

“We’re kind of at a point we haven’t heard anything. It’s a little bit bothersome for me that the general public doesn’t know,” Schmidt added. “We appreciate what the police are doing and we think the general public may have heard or could be helpful to solve this. Anything could be the right tip to help us out.”

Schmidt also mentioned the possibility of a monetary reward for information about the robbery, if it led to an arrest or police action.

The safe was of MasterLock brand, 100 lbs. as aforementioned and required a digital code, Police Chief Paul Folz said.

“We’ve never been immune to crime,” he said. “We always encourage if someone has seen something, say something.”

He also encouraged other businesses on Main Street and with Southwest Alley access to review their business practices. There should never be a large amount of cash at the business at one time, he said. The night deposit box at the bank is a safe option for deposits after bank hours.

Businesses should also invest in security systems and key fob systems for entering the business.

“If someone comes across it (the safe), sees it, or knows anything about the break-in, call us or Crime Stoppers,” Folz said. 

Those with information can call the Spring Grove Police Department at 507-498-2677 or Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 507-725-5122.