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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Where’s the beef?

By Ana Breton

During the last couple of weeks, the Union has been left with an empty wallet as well as an empty pantry.

More than $120 worth of food was stolen from the Crimson View restaurant on the fourth floor of the Union.

The amount, which was composed of 20 pounds of ham, 10 pounds of bacon and varied produce, was stored in the restaurant’s refrigerator before it was stolen.

Brad Rasmussen, supervisor of the Crimson View restaurant, said the staff locked the refrigerators on Friday, Sept. 15. as part of its daily safety routine.

When they returned to work on Monday, Sept. 18, however, the food was gone.

Sheri Young, administrative assistant to the Union director, said the Union Board suspects the food was taken by homeless people who spend a lot of time on campus.

“It wasn’t a student or a worker, but someone who knows this place well enough to not get caught,” Young said.

Rasmussen said homeless individuals have been breaking into the restaurant for several years.

The doors to the Crimson View dining room have deep, linear marks near the edges, which Rasmussen said were made by hangers bent by the people who would unlatch the doors.

Peter Morrow, a Chartwells employee, said besides watching security video of the homeless people breaking into the restaurant, he has also found homeless individuals sleeping under the tables.

Although the restaurant’s dining room has been broken into, the kitchen is “impossible to get into,” he said, because only five people have keys to it.

Lynn Rohland, sergeant with the University of Utah Police Department, said a formal suspect has not been named because the incident is still under investigation.

“You can’t say the homeless are the only suspects,” Rohland said. “Just because they are transient doesn’t mean they are thieves.”

Jaime Martinez, who works as a cook for the Crimson View restaurant, said the homeless should not be blamed because other people also have access to the restaurant.

“It could have been the Union staff or the janitorial staff,” Martinez said. “Catering people also have access here after the restaurant staff leaves.”

A service elevator, which is located inside the kitchen, could have also played a role during the incident, he said.

The elevator, which has no security cameras, is used to shuttle food from the basement to the restaurant on the fourth floor.

The theft, Morrow said, hurt the total sales of the restaurant. The $120 represents 10 percent of average weekly sales.

“The incident is pretty substantial-especially for the size of the restaurant,” Morrow said, adding that 30 to 60 people dine at the restaurant on a daily basis.

Because of the loss, new security measures are being taken, including the installation of security cameras and $1,000 worth of new locks, Young said.

Doors will also be replaced, and in the future, card swipes will also be installed for the restaurant to have maximum security.

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