Grants Pass restaurant’s outdoor dining area ransacked

GRANTS PASS, Ore.- As restaurants continue to struggle to make ends meet under the state’s COVID-19 restrictions, one Grants Pass location has a new challenge.

When Herb’s general manager arrived to work Monday morning, she found their outdoor dining area had been ransacked.

“When I got here, all of the heaters were gone. One of the hundred pound propane tanks was gone. The drop down shades had been cut. All of the electrical sources had been cut,” said G.M. Christine Parker. She says the thieves had stolen and damaged over $3,000 worth of equipment.

The heaters and electrical supplies were just bought late last year when the restaurant shifted to outdoor dining in November to try to continue to turn a profit under COVID-19 restrictions.

Now the restaurant has spent Monday driving around and paying out of pocket to buy new heaters, extension cords, and shades. All so they could quickly open up again and not lose even more money.

“It took hours. We had to go to Medford, Central Point. There was only one [heater] in Grants Pass.”

Parker said the people responsible spent a long time at the restaurant Sunday night, hand cutting chains and coming back and forth as they walked the heaters and even a 100 pound propane tank down the street.

“It was over about a two and a half hour period. Last thing they did was two of them picked up those huge tanks and walked off down Rogue River Highway carrying them,” she explained.

She said they managed to capture images of some of the men stealing the heaters and are passing all of their information along to the police. She hopes people recognize the men and turn them in.

Parker doesn’t want to see another business have to go through something like this in these already trying times for restaurants.

She says they have a case filed with the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety and are passing along all security footage they have of the incident.

Grace Smith is co-anchor for NBC5 News at 6. The Chicago native is a recent graduate of University of Miami with a Communication Honors degree specializing in Broadcast Journalism. She minored in Creative Writing and focused her senior thesis on social media usage and engagement. During her time at the University of Miami, she anchored multiple award-winning student television programs, covering everything from music festivals to the Super Bowl. Though she loved Miami's beaches, she's thrilled to be in the Pacific Northwest where she can experience all four seasons and have a real Christmas tree! When she’s not at work, you can find Grace glued to any television showing live sports (especially if it's the Chicago Bears) or attempting a new recipe as she learns to cook.
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