NEW YORK -- The owner of a diner that has been around for almost 50 years in Brooklyn is picking up the pieces after the restaurant was burglarized early Saturday morning.
A burnt shell is what is left of the ATM located in the entry way of Brooklyn Eats after it caught on fire during a botched burglary.
"They proceeded to take out a blowtorch and try to open up the ATM, which ... they couldn't do it, but they burned the plastic of the ATM, which caught on fire," general manager Georgios Papadopoulos told CBS2's Thalia Perez.
Surveillance cameras caught two suspects inside the Atlantic Avenue eatery in East New York around 2 a.m. Saturday.
Papadopoulos says they were inside the restaurant for a total of 30 minutes, while three others were staged outside as lookouts pretending to fix their SUV.
"Those people that were involved in that, it was really a bad thing. George is a great man," neighbor Bishop Willie Billups said.
Fortunately, the fire was contained to the ATM and didn't spread. Fire officials say they were notified about the incident.
But Papadopoulos says the suspects didn't flee empty-handed. They grabbed $500 in cash from a register and cash box that were in the front of the restaurant before they fled.
"Emotionally, it really bothers me because many people call this place home," Papadopoulos said. "My family has been here 50 years. We're gonna be here another 150 years. We're not going anywhere."
The restaurant is open seven days a week and is known for its breakfast and lunch dishes, and Papadopoulos says this incident isn't going to change that.
"Tomorrow, 7 a.m., we will be open. Maybe a little bit of a delay, but we will be open," he said.
Next, Papadopoulos says he plans to beef up security.
Meanwhile, police say the search for the suspects continues.
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