SPOKANE, Wash. – A Spokane family-owned restaurant is dealing with a small business’ worst nightmare.
Mossuto’s Italian Restaurant in North Spokane was broken into last month, with the thief taking thousands of dollars.
“I put so much trust in my employees and the community and everything like that, that you never think that it’s going to happen until it happens,” Tony Poole said.
Poole and his family opened Mossuto’s on Black Friday in 2021.
Just over a year later, on December 12, security cameras caught someone trying and failing to break through their glass front door early in the morning.
The thief then used a crowbar to break the lock, then rushed through the restaurant, busted down the office door, headed straight for their safe and exited out the back less than 20 seconds later.
And with them, Poole said they took around $5,500.
The safe had employees’ tips, the week’s books and about $1,300 the restaurant raised for a cause called “Purple for a Purpose.”
“What they do is help victims of domestic violence get out of the situations that they’re in currently,” Poole said.
A cause that’s close to Poole’s heart, which quickly became his biggest concern after the break-in.
“My wife is actually a victim of domestic violence from a past relationship,” Poole said. “We have the money to pay our employees and everything like that, but I really wanted to make sure we were getting this money to the charity itself.”
Months of hard work collecting donations were suddenly out of the window in a matter of seconds, until the community — and Poole’s family — stepped in.
“Without my knowing, my two brothers — who run the two Poole’s Public Houses — at their employee party put together a raffle, and they were able to raise almost $1,600,” Poole said.
That replaced what Mossuto’s had raised, and then some.
“The emotions of that really took me over,” Poole said. “It was really special.”
Poole was able to present the check to Purple for a Purpose, and has since beefed up their security.
“We got extra security cameras, redid our alarms, redid the locks just in case,” Poole said.
Plus, he and his family are still feeling the community’s support.
“The week that it happened we had one of our busiest lunches ever,” Poole said. “I still have conversations with customers almost every day to see if anything has happened, and everyone just really cares.”
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said they were investigating the incident, but haven’t made any arrests in connection with the break-in or been able to locate the safe.
Anyone with information that could help investigators is encouraged to contact Crime Check and reference Case Number 2022-10165355.