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Beretta robbed!

Given the number of times I've been going there, it's surprising that I wasn't present for the drama. Then again, if I were, I probably wouldn't remember it clearly anyway.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

(04-30) 19:02 PDT San Francisco -- An Italian restaurant in the Mission District was robbed early this morning while about 10 patrons were eating their dinners, said police Sgt. Neville Gittens.

Police got a call at 1:21 a.m. Wednesday that a man had walked into Beretta on Valencia Street between 22nd and 23rd Streets, waved a gun and shouted, "This is a robbery! Everybody get down!" He didn't fire his gun, and no one was hurt. A restaurant worker handed the man the cash, and he fled on foot eastbound on 23rd Street.

The suspect was described as an African-American male between 25 and 35 years old, 5'8" and 150 pounds and wearing a brown hooded jacket, black baggy jeans and black shoes.

The manager of Beretta was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

There is no indication the hold-up is related to the recent spate of Oakland area restaurant robberies, Gittens said.

"At this point, there's no indication it's related to anything," he said.

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Beretta Team

The important thing is that nobody was hurt. The incident shook us all up and as a result we've installed additional measures of security. It's a shame that we were one of the recent restaurants to be targeted in this recent string of robberies. We're working with SFPD to review the camera footage and hopefully we'll be able to identify the criminal.

It's important to understand that this kind of thing can happen to any restaurant, bank, bookstore or any merchant that exchanges money. We would like to offer some tips, which are detailed below, to help businesses safeguard themselves. Beretta is dedicated to being a neighborhood restaurant where everyone can enjoy great food and delicious drinks in a safe and comfortable environment and we won't sit by and let the criminal acts of one individual compromise our pledge to the neighborhood.

Tips

1. Servers / Bartenders and all workers in the restaurant should walk to their cars in pairs. Criminals know that workers leaving restaurants often have cash tips and are therefore targets.
2. Ensure that side entrances and loading docks are locked and secure - making only one main entrance / exit.
3. Keep 911 on emergency one-touch dial at the host stand.

Finally and most importantly, we'd like to thank our customers for the way they handled the incident. Everyone remained very calm and collective- nobody tried to act as the "hero," and as a result nobody was hurt. That is tip #4 and probably the most important one.

Thank you for your continued support.

The Beretta Team

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