Surveillance camera captures moment two thieves broke into Houston-area Japanese restaurant

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A Houston-area restaurant hopes to stop two intruders from striking again.

According to the restaurant owner, two masked men burst into the business on Friday morning, smashing the windows and breaking down the door.

The co-owners of Shun Japanese Kitchen are proud to share Japanese cuisine and culture and now they’re spreading the word about two thieves still on the run.

Chef Naoki Yoshida and his wife, pastry chef Renee Yoshida, opened Shun Japanese Kitchen four years ago. It was their first company together and they say food is their passion.

“Shun really means a lot to us, especially me and my wife. We are second-generation Japanese, so we try to implement our concept, our ideas,” Naoki said.

Naoki built most of the woodwork inside the restaurant. Renee is a designer and she created the restaurant’s interior, making sure to include important elements of Japanese culture, including nods to the fishing industry, Japanese sake barrels, patterns, and more.

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Surveillance video shows two thieves breaking into a local Japanese restaurant (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.)
Surveillance video shows two thieves breaking into a local Japanese restaurant (Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston – All rights reserved.)

“We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into our business,” Naoki said. “I built the bar and a lot of woodwork around Shun.”

“It’s kind of like our baby,” Renee laughed.

However, Friday around 1am, there was no laughing matter. The couple say they received an alert.

“Security alarms went off, that’s how we were notified,” Naoki said.

Surveillance video shows two intruders jumping over the side fence of Shun Kitchen, then smashing the windows in the door and entering the business.

The two then went straight to the cashier and hostess booth. The same modus operandi the Yoshidas saw in October 2021 when their business was first robbed. In this case, from 2021, the thieves got away with iPads, booze, and cash.

This time the intruders got nothing. However, it was troubling for the owners.

“They really looked like they had been here before because they knew exactly where to go,” Naoki added.

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The couple say they called the Houston police.

Assessing the damage, the couple saw that the intruders had exited the restaurant, breaking through the wooden side fence that Naoki had built.

“They destroyed everything,” Naoki said.

And then it costs the company hundreds of dollars to replace the door.

“There was glass everywhere,” he said.

Ultimately, the owners said, they can always replace things, but they’re hoping to spread the word about the crime.

Houston police say many restaurants are experiencing break-ins and the Yoshidas hope the crime will stop.

“It’s one of the hurdles that always happens, every day,” Naoki said.

He said they remain resilient and focused on their food, service and customers. They were open on Friday, although they had been up since 1am

“Here we are again today. [Just] another day for us,” Naoki said. “We can try to find the people or minimize the number of break-ins in Houston right now, especially during these times.”

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“The guests, the staff, everything here means everything to us,” Renee added.

Copyright 2022 by KPRC Click2Houston – All Rights Reserved.

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