UPDATE: Nealie’s Skillet burglary suspect spotted by restaurant owner, apprehended

A boarded up door greets would-be customers at Nealie's Skillet in Valencia following an early-morning break in on Tuesday, April 30. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Emily Alvarenga contributed to this report.

A man suspected of breaking into Nealie’s Skillet restaurant last month was spotted by a co-owner of the restaurant, Haydee Scott, as she was dropping her son off a school Wednesday.

“My wife was dropping off my son at Placerita Junior High (School) when she spots this gentleman at the (Newhall) Park,” restaurant co-owner Neal Scott said late Wednesday afternoon.

He has the same backpack and the same hat that were seen in the video, he said.

“She goes up to him and says, ‘Can I talk to you for a second?’

“Then she says, ‘You’re the guy who robbed us last month.’  He said ‘No, no. It’s not me.’

“Then she shows him a photo and says, ‘Here’s your picture.’ Then he gets nervous and starts shaking. He walked away towards the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club. She’s trying to stay right with him.

“At the same time, she’s calling me,” Scott said.

At one point in her pursuit of the suspect, the man turns around and says, ‘Why are you following me?’ And, she told him why.

At that point, Scott said, the suspect ran into the wash. When he emerged on the streets of Newhall his clothes were different, he said.

By that time, deputies were on their way.

The suspect was arrested near El Trocadero Steak House restaurant, near Market Street and Railroad Avenue.

“When (deputies) went through his backpack, they found the (initial) clothes he was wearing and the gloves that were seen in the video.

“The sheriff’s deputies did their job,” Nealie said. “Tomorrow, they’re coming back to interview me.”

The  suspect in the burglary of Nealie’s Skillet, a popular Valencia breakfast restaurant, was taken into custody in Newhall on Wednesday.

At approximately 10 a.m., a witness recognized a man who matched the description of the suspect in connection with the burglary based on information from the investigation, said Lt. Ignacio Somoano of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

That witness turned out to be the restaurant’s co-owner.

Deputies then responded and found the suspect near Market Street and Railroad Avenue where they discovered evidence associating him with the crime, Somoano said.

The suspect was taken into custody and is now being charged in connection with the burglary, according to Somoano.

The restaurant was burglarized last month, making it the third time in the past three years that it had been broken into, according to sheriff’s officials.

Thieves broke into Nealie’s Skillet restaurant at 3:30 a.m. April 30, thieves smashing the front door of the Valencia family business.

It was the third break-in at the restaurant since it opened.

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