Diablo’s Southwest Grill owner offering robber a second chance

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Some customers are calling him the burrito bandit, but he wasn’t looking for any food. He needed cash. Now the owner of The Diablos Southwest Grill on Wheeler Road is offering him an opportunity.

“It’s easier to spread love than hate,” said Carl Wallace, the owner of Diablo’s Southwest Grill.

It’s a story of forgiveness right ahead of the Easter Holiday. That’s what Carl Wallace, the owner of the Diablos Southwest Grill on Wheeler Road, says he wants to happen after an overnight burglary.

“So last night around 4:42 we were broken into, they were only in the restaurant for about 45 seconds, of course, the alarm went off they grabbed the register,” Wallace said.

There was no money inside the register, but the bandit did leave behind some damage using a brick to break into the restaurant.

“Ripped out the register, he didn’t do anything nice and clean; he just ripped and tried to take off,” Wallace said.

Apparently, this wasn’t the only store he’s broken into. Wallace says after making his Facebook post, other store owners reached out to him, claiming the same man broke into their stores.

“They’ve actually sent me pictures of their break-ins; it’s the same white hoodie, the same statue individual. I don’t think this is the one and done, so hopefully, this person decides to change career paths,” he said.

Instead of sending a cry for help, he made a call to action.

“We decided to take a different approach and reach out to the person and say look, come sit down and let’s talk; give you an opportunity in life that will change your life because this career path that you’re on is not going to work; out for you,” Wallace said.

Wallace’s customers say they’re not surprised by his reaction.

“I think they’re just trying to look out and do what’s best for them, and unfortunately, sometimes people are going through rough situations and make bad decisions,” said Billy Cristofanali. He’s the owner of PinPoint Sales and works with Wallace.

“I was really grateful at the way they responded; I think that was a really nice thing, and even for them to twist it around and say, hey choose a different career path and we can help you with that, that sounds like them,” said Chris Leitza, he’s a longtime customer at Diablo’s

The owner tells NewsChannel 6, that he plans to have the door fixed on Monday, right on time for Masters week.

Below is the full footage of the break-in at the Diablo’s restaurant on Wheeler Road:

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