Popular Tucson restaurant that has been attacked by thieves

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) – “I’ve had a paycheck for cooking since I was 14 years old.”

Cooking isn’t just a livelihood for Mateo Otero.

“I’ve won the best taco every year since I’ve been open for three years.”

It’s his passion.

“I won the best chef in 2019, 2020.”

When he arrived at his Rollie’s Mexican Patio restaurant on Saturday and found his door damaged, he was shocked to see it was attacked by thieves.

“I thought one of my employees was there, then I realized he was away that morning,” said Otero.

“I saw all the broken parts of the door on the floor and only knew that someone broke in.”

He realized that his passion was a target for thieves.

“Well, they stole like any electronics we need to run the business.”

He filed a report with the Tucson Police Department informing KGUN9 that thousands of dollars of equipment had been stolen.

Mateo did not open his restaurant on Saturday.

“This is our busiest day and we just had to close.”

Already facing the challenges of a pandemic, Mateo said his business had one primary goal, among other things.

“I’m just trying to keep everyone busy.”

He has a message for the people who broke into his restaurant.

“That’s just wrong, you just don’t go to a mom and pop store, someone who has worked hard all their life and steals from them.”

While police have not released any information about a suspect, Mateo took matters into his own hands and posted a photo of a man caught on camera on social media.

He reached out to his clients for information on the case.

“It’s all love. I love each and every one of you, you are totally there for me, my family and the entire Rollie crew.”

Feedback was supportive and abundant, and shared over a thousand times. He says that this event won’t stop him from fulfilling his passion.

“This is what I do and what I’ve done all my life.”

He says Rollie’s Mexican Patio will reopen on Monday.


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