Nealie’s Skillet reports early morning break-in

Rick Grimsley, left, of B & D Glass, and Neal Scott, of Nealie's Skillet, discuss repairs to the window of the restaurant.

The owners of Nealie’s Skillet in Valencia received a rude awakening just after the business’ first anniversary at their Tournament Road location.

“(Tuesday) was our one-year anniversary,” said co-owner Neal Scott, “we opened Jan. 2, 2016.”

Shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, the owners, Haydee and Neal Scott received a call from their alarm company, checking to make sure they weren’t at their location.

Haydee Scott, in real time, checked one of several cameras throughout their restaurant, and confirmed their fears. Someone had broken into their business.

A screenshot of security footage obtained by The Signal from cameras located inside Nealie’s Skillet. Courtesy photo

The break-in occurred around 1:05 a.m., the husband and wife received the call a few minutes later, and shortly after that, the couple, who live in the area, were at their business. But the burglar had already fled to a nearby getaway car, per security footage from the area.

The popular breakfast spot was likely the first target hit, as none of the other locations in the strip of businesses was affected, and it’s possible the owners’ alarm system and quick response scared off the thief, who was caught on security camera, from targeting additional businesses.

The damage, a large broken panel of glass, was already temporarily patched up Wednesday morning by a friend’s company, Stegall & Sons Home Improvement, and Rick Grimsley, of B & D Glass, was measuring for a more permanent glass replacement as The Signal spoke with the Scotts that same morning. But the lesson for Haydee and Neal Scott will last much longer: Don’t leave anything in the cash register.

As is common practice for many business owners, the pair would leave the cash for the following day in the till overnight for the start of the next day.

“98 percent of the time, that money stays in there,” Haydee said, adding that that was going to change starting today.

But she wanted to encourage others not to make the same mistake.

Leaving money in the till is a move that’s highly discouraged by law enforcement officials, who, in the past, have encouraged businesses to leave their tills open and in plain sight, so thieves know there’s no cash left behind. Some businesses have even gone as far as putting a note on their door to let potential thieves know no cash is being left behind.

A security camera was able to capture footage of the suspect, who has not yet been identified.

Anyone with information regarding the burglary that took place at 25858 Tournament Road around 1 a.m. Tuesday is asked to call the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station at 661-255-1121.

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