Kamloops restaurant owners back in the kitchen after break-in | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops restaurant owners back in the kitchen after break-in

Husband and wife, Kamau (right) and Denese (left) Metsimela found a glass door shattered at their restaurant Jamaican Kitchen on Monday morning. Food, beer and a safe were missing.
May 11, 2021 - 6:00 PM

After someone broke into Jamaican Kitchen on Tranquille Road and made off with food and drink products and about $500 in cash on Sunday night, co-owner Denese Metsimela says it feels like her space has been violated.

But Metsimela is encouraged by the outpouring of support that came after she posted about the incident on social media.

“It’s very hurtful when you work so hard and someone just destroys your stuff and walks away,” Metsimela said. “We live on the North Shore too, and we really appreciate our customers, because they’re the reason we’ve been here for nine years. It makes me happy that people actually care and appreciate what we do.”

Denese’s husband and co-owner of Jamaican Kitchen on Tranquille Road, Kamau Metsimela, came to the restaurant around 6 a.m. on Monday to repair their fridge. He arrived to find the glass shattered on their patio door.

He called his wife and police to report what had happened, but not before he found that food, beer, soda and their safe had been stolen.

Then he took it upon himself to investigate the area.

Kamau found restaurant documents and their cash box behind a Tim Horton’s. Then, behind ASK Wellness, people drinking a specially-ordered beer brand called Carib, gave him a description of a man who had sold them the beer and where he can usually be found.

However, after calling police twice to give updates, the Metsimelas were dismayed to find the constable they were contacting was not receiving their messages quickly enough to add new information to the investigation.

Kamau was back in the kitchen on Tuesday morning after working his investigation on Monday, when the restaurant is usually closed anyway.

"It hurts him so much because he puts everything into this. In the morning, he's the first one here, and for many years, the last one to leave until we hired a reliable chef," Denese said.

Denese doesn’t expect the person responsible will be held to account, and if they are, she doesn’t expect to have their stolen product or cash returned. She estimates the value of stolen goods and cost of the damage to be around $3,000.

Despite that, she is heartened by the response from the public. In a Facebook post, many Kamloopsians expressed their support for the family-owned restaurant after they posted about the incident, saying it was the second broken window in eight months.

The first time, however, the suspect broke only an outer pane of a two-pane window and didn’t gain entry.

Other than a wood covering on the broken door, there is no sign of invasion within the restaurant on Tuesday, and they continue to serve customers on their patio or with takeout.

The Metsimelas have been serving authentic Jamaican cuisine and fusion dishes on Tranquille for nine years. Now, they plan to upgrade security measures, including improved surveillance within the restaurant, Denese said.

While she would like to avoid seeing invasive surveillance in public places, she’s considering that it would be beneficial for high-crime areas.

“I’m very wary of the invasiveness of surveillance, but maybe sometimes it's necessary in certain strategic spots,” Denese said.


For the second time in 8 months our restaurant has been vandalized. This time the damage was more extensive. Not only... Posted by Jamaican Kitchen on Monday, May 10, 2021

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