UPDATE: Vandals Cause Over $50,000 in Damage to Fire Bar
A power outage at the time of the break-in meant the security system and cameras were not working.
After a power outage forced the Fire Bar & Grill to close its doors early Valentine's Day night, the bar has been dealt a more serious blow that could keep the business closed for well over a week.
At some point overnight Monday, vandals broke into the popular establishment at 435 Angela Lane in Crystal Lake. The security cameras and alarms were not working at that time because of a power outage that affected 1,600 area homes. Police believe the vandals spent no more that 15 minutes inside, said co-owner Sarge Hermes. Hermes is estimating they caused between $50,000 and $60,000 in damage.
With a packed crowd Monday night, the lights went out between 10:o0 and 10:30 p.m., Hermes said. After ushering customers out, Hermes closed up and left around 11:30 p.m.
"We did have a lot of customers at the time,'' Hermes said of the time the power went out. "We just couldn't keep customers there any longer.''
The vandals destroyed the computer systems in the Fire Bar and broke more than 30 flat screen televisions, Hermes said.
Hermes and his brothers Nino and James, also owners, are hoping to reopen their bar by Friday, Feb. 25. The brothers are offering a $5,000 reward for anyone providing information on the break-in. Police, at this point, have no suspects or leads.
"We're waiting to see if somebody would actually come forward,'' he said.
Hermes: Nothing Stolen, Extensive Damage
The Crystal Lake Police told Sarge Hermes vandals likely only were in the Fire Bar for 10 to 15 minutes "where they did what they could and left,'' he said.
"They probably used a hammer and just went from TV to TV and cracked the front glass on every single TV," Hermes said.
Five of the restaurants point of sales computers, which cost about $3,500 each, were smashed, he said. Hermes said the vandals pulled the computers off from where they were set and smashed them on the floor.
The vandals also destroyed the handles on the draft beer towers, which left the equivalent of 24 kegs of beer spilled out onto the floor, he said.
"Nothing was stolen at all,'' he said.
Hermes estimates the loss from damage at between $50,000 and $60,000, not including the loss of revenue from being closed. Forty employees are missing work during this time, he said.