"You are no longer welcome here, you are not welcome into our neighborhood."
The Hillcrest hospitality industry is on alert this week after a brazen male and female customer came into Gossip Grill early Sunday evening and made off with employee Elly Barksdale’s (top left) wallet and phone.Although the property was eventually recovered, the suspects have not been caught.
Stills from the CCTV camera were posted online of the couple snatching the phone/wallet combo case right off the bar.
Elly said the duo was going to leave without paying until someone confronted them at the door.
“They tried to walk out on their check on one of my co-workers, they paid their bill and I was talking to a friend and left my phone and wallet on the counter.”
After the grab, Elly tells San Diego Gay and Lesbian News the male suspect, “Opened it up showed it to his friends and walked right out.”
Elly says the couple appears to be regular patrons in the community, “The guy looks more familiar than the girl, I have seen them both before.”
She filed a police report in City Heights on Thursday after not getting an immediate response from police after the incident.
Remarkably the close-knit Hillcrest community eventually recovered Elly’s phone at another bar just up the street on University Avenue.
“We did find the phone,” says Elly. “They went to the Alibi, it was found discarded there.”
She adds: “When someone found my phone and wallet, the bartender saw the name, and another one of my co-workers who was there, saw the name too and brought it back to me.”
Credit cards were stolen and the phone was still there, but surprisingly about $50 cash remained.
“You would’ve thought they would take the money,” she said, “I canceled all my credit cards.”
Elly is happy that the phone is recovered but still wants the suspects caught and held accountable.
"So many people have said, ‘this is our safe place.'" She adds, referencing the alleged thieves, "You are no longer welcome here, you are not welcome into our neighborhood."
If you have information about the people in the photograph contact Gossip Grill at (619) 260-8023.