Burglary suspect arrested in SLC after drilling into empty cash register

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SALT LAKE CITY – An alert employee was able to notify police of a burglary in progress Wednesday morning, and the suspect allegedly drilled into a cash register only to find it empty.

Things began around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday when an employee who opens up for business at The Rose Establishment,  a coffee shop at 235 South and 400 West in Salt Lake City, arrived and noticed something amiss.

"Once she got in the building, she noticed that there was a broken window and then that the office had been broken into, so she immediately called the owner,” said Cody Kirkland, who works at The Rose.

During that phone call, the employee started hearing strange noises, which is when her boss told her to get out while she called police.

Police responded within minutes, and though the suspect had made it out through a basement window, he was spotted leaving the scene.

Joel Jacquez M. Grossi, 31, was stopped while carrying items that were taken from the shop, according to police.

"Luckily, we arrived and we actually saw the suspect leaving the area,” Det. Veronica Montoya of the Salt Lake City Police Department said. “He was stopped, and [police] found property from the burglary on him, and he was booked into jail."

It appears Grossi went to great lengths to steal money, but wasn’t very successful. The man allegedly used a drill to get into the store’s cash register, only to find it empty. He then allegedly took $3 from a tip jar along with a company computer and an iPad.

"He missed the cash drawers and safe,” Kirkland said. “It could have been worse for sure."

Grossi was booked into jail, and it appears police may have recovered most, if not all, of the stolen property.