Southwest Houston Jewish restaurant burglarized, Houstonians raise more than $20,000 for damages

The Houston Police Department Tuesday evening said the burglary did not appear to be “motivated by hate.” A restaurant co-owner says differently.

Shloime Zionce

Houstonians have raised more than $20,000 in an effort to help a Jewish-owned restaurant in southwest Houston get back on its feet after a break in Tuesday morning left the business carrying the costs of considerable damage.

The front door of the restaurant was shattered, and a hole was cut out in the ceiling of the Meyerland restaurant early Tuesday morning. The cash register was stolen and prayer books were damaged in the process of the burglary.

The cash register was empty when it was stolen, Shloime Zionce, organizer of a financial campaign to help the business said.

“The roof needs to be repaired, windows need to be replaced, the cash register and payment systems were damaged, and worst of all the establishment will need to be closed until the damage can be fully fixed,” Zionce said on the campaign webpage.

Shloime Zionce

Taste of Tel Aviv is located in a strip mall at 9804 Hillcroft St.

Houston Police Department Tuesday night said a preliminary investigation into the burglary shows the incident was apparently not motivated by hate.

“It is believed to be the work of a lone individual who was burglarizing the business and trying to steal anything of value before fleeing the scene,” according to the police. “The Houston Police Department continues working with our federal, state and local partners to ensure the safety of all Houstonians. At this time, there are no known threats to our city.”

The police department is asking anyone with information on suspicious activity to contact the department.

The restaurant’s co-owner Pam Baylis told KTRK the restaurant received threats recently and has been burglarized before. She said after reviewing surveillance footage with police, she believes the burglary was targeted.

The business filed police reports, and police suggested Baylis take down an Israeli flag hanging in front of the restaurant. She didn’t, according to KTRK.