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A Burglar Broke Into a DC Restaurant’s Storage Unit and Stole Only Hand Sanitizer and Cleaning Products

Thousands of dollars worth of booze and other valuables from Republic Cantina were left untouched.

A thief breaks into Republic Cantina's storage unit in the basement of an apartment building.
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Like every restaurant owner, Republic Cantina’s Chris Svetlik spent the week worrying about letting go his staff and the very survival of his business. Then to top it all off, someone broke into the storage unit of his Truxton Circle Tex-Mex restaurant early Saturday morning.

“It was relatively sophisticated as these things go. The person planned ahead and brought bolt-cutters and cut through what is a pretty robust security cage,” Svetlik says.

When police informed him, Svetlik went to see what had been taken. But nothing immediately seemed to be missing. Thousands of dollars worth of booze and other valuables were still there. It wasn’t until today when the building’s security reviewed camera footage that Svetlik learned what was stolen: two jugs of hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies. The burglar also took a bike from a resident in the building where the restaurant is located.

“What he took was very small and kind of heart-wrenching,” Svetlik says. “Apparently cleaning supplies are the number one item in demand right now.”

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Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.