Cesar’s Mexican & Greek restaurant hit by armed robber

Cesar’s Mexican & Greek restaurant hit by armed robber

After decades in business, the man behind Cesar's Mexican & Greek restaurant is well-equipped to handle just about anything.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – After decades in business, the man behind Cesar’s Mexican & Greek restaurant is well-equipped to handle just about anything.

But it doesn’t mean thieves and troublemakers stay away, especially at the business’ 24-hour drive-thru window. KOB 4 visited the restaurant Tuesday after its most recent robbery attempt. 

“My employee went through something very disappointing,” said Cesar Cruz, owner of Cesar’s Mexican & Greek. 

A white van pulled up, put in an order, and pulled around. People can see a man get out of the van to pay.

“When his card is declined, he tries to, or he actually demands money,” said Cruz. 

And tries to grab the employee.

“He’s making an honest living, and then to confront or to face someone like that is not acceptable,” Ceuz said. 

All over an $8.73 meal. Cruz says police showed up right away and confirmed it was a crime, even though the suspect didn’t have a weapon.

Officers saw his face on camera – his car in the drive-thru – and potentially his name on the receipt.

“I feel great that my cameras are doing their job,” said Cruz. 

They’ve been doing their job for years now. 

In 2019, KOB 4 told you about a thief who crawled through the drive-thru, into the kitchen. Cruz scared him off that time. 

“Some people were scared, of course, and I understand. But I did my part, I just needed to chase him away or get him out of here,” Cruz said. 

In 2020, they caught a suspected shootout.

“In the street of Lomas and San Mateo, there’s always something happening,” said Cruz. 

Cruz has watched a lot change over the years at that intersection.

“It’s just me and Taco Bell. The rest of the businesses are new, some of them gone, some of them come and leave, and of course it has changed tremendously,” Cruz said. “Society is not great. Society is degrading, and instead of getting better, it’s getting worse.”

KOB 4 witnessed Cruz’s reality Tuesday afternoon. A woman came in, grabbed some utensils without ordering, and Cruz asked her to leave. Seconds later, a man came into the restaurant:

“Ay, you got some problem with my wife out there bro? Why did my wife walk out of here crying?”

Cruz doesn’t hesitate to go on offense. 

“These kind of events are increasing,” he said. 

But he’s not going anywhere. 

“I will not go down for somebody else’s behavior. Somebody else’s behavior is not gonna get me down,” said Cruz. 

Cruz says he offered the employee involved in Monday’s attempted robbery time off, but he declined.

However, he didn’t show up for his shift Monday night, so Cruz potentially lost another good worker to Albuquerque’s crime issues.