Thieves Steal Copper, Appliances From Melanie’s Restaurant
(Memphis) Thieves have stolen copper and appliances from a well-known North Memphis restaurant.
The thefts happened at Melanie’s Soul Food.
It’s a popular restaurant on Watkins Street that was forced to shut down a few months ago after a fire ripped through the building.
The owners, who were about to remodel, found the restaurant in shambles when they were doing a walk through with a contractor on Thursday.
Now they have another mess to clean up.
“There was a sink here. There was an ice machine here,” Melanie’s Restaurant owner, Michael Leach, said as pointed to the empty walls.
Everywhere you turn in the restaurant there are signs of destruction.
“This was our fuse box, but they just demolished our fuse box,” he showed us. “Wherever you see a ceiling tile they took copper.”
Thieves stole the copper wiring and several appliances out of the restaurant after ransacking the place.
They stole everything they could grab, including the kitchen sink.
“It wasn’t a good feeling to walk in and see this like that,” Leach said. “It was enough to deal with after being in business for 28 years to have a fire set us back, and then to come in and see what happened here today it’s devastating.”
Leach’s sister, Enkia says the restaurant plays a positive role in the community, and can’t imagine who would want to destroy it, “We help the neighborhood. We support it. We feed the homeless and for this to happen it’s devastating.”
But despite the destruction, they vow to re-open.
“We are going to rebuild and open somewhere,” she said.
The Leaches say they do have insurance, but the owner of the building wants to sell the building, so they aren’t sure where they will eventually re-open.