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‘Satan’ strikes Tripoli Bistro

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

A burglar dressed as `Satan’ raided a Masterton restaurant early on Christmas morning but his reward amounted to barely a handful of coins.

A security camera video posted on Facebook yesterday showed the hooded offender, wearing a mask with horns, smashing the front door and heading behind the counter to rifle through drawers.

Marlon Tortoza, the owner of Tripoli Bistro in Kuripuni, should have been enjoying a Christmas Day sleep-in.

Marlon Tortoza, owner of Tripoli Bistro in Kuripuni. PHOTO/FILE
Marlon Tortoza, owner of Tripoli Bistro in Kuripuni. PHOTO/FILE

But instead, he was awakened by a call from police telling him his restaurant had been broken into  — for the second time in the past week.

It was the fourth time the restaurant had been burgled in a span of about five months.

“I am shocked,” Mr Tortoza said.

“Christmas morning I woke up to my phone ringing — it was the police, telling me that my place had been broken into.”

Nothing had been stolen, but it was clear the would-be burglar was looking for money, he said.

“They were specifically looking for cash or a safe or something like that and they couldn’t find anything — there was nothing in the store like that apart from a few coins which he dropped on the way out.”

He suspected it was the same culprit who smashed the front window of the restaurant last week before being chased away by a staff member.

Mr Tortoza had only just replaced the window from that incident, and yesterday had to pay a further $500 to replace the same window.

For the rest of Christmas Day, he kept a close watch over his restaurant through CCTV footage linked to his phone.

“I’m keeping an eye on it, making sure it’s ok, and trying to relax a bit, take care of my kids.

“Just trying to enjoy what’s left of my Christmas Day.”

Tripoli is closed right up to January, but Mr Tortoza said he wouldn’t be “straying very far, because who knows what’s going to happen next”.

Police are investigating.



Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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