MOUNT PROSPECT (CBS) — A 20-year-old man’s defense for breaking into a fast food restaurant over the weekend, and preparing himself something to eat, was simply that he was hungry.
Police got a call at 3:32 a.m. Saturday, activated by the alarm system of Mr. Beef & Pizza at 1796 S. Elmhurst Rd., according to Mount Prospect Police Operations Cmdr. John Wagner.
Officers saw damage to the drive-thru window and saw a man inside, Wagner said. Hachem Gomez, 20, then went to front entrance of the restaurant and unlocked the doors for the officers.
When the officers asked him if he worked there, he replied, “No, I was hungry,” Wagner said.
Officers checked the building found food in the microwave and a cold drink on the counter, Wagner said. Gomez told them he woke up hungry about 3 a.m., went to the Mr. Beef & Pizza, knocked on the door but no one answered, so he broke in and made himself something to eat.
The restaurant’s closed-circuit security video showed Gomez stripped down to his boxer shorts, breaking into the drive-thru window.
Gomez apparently broke a metal grate protecting the window with his body weight, then crawled in through the broken window, police said.
Once inside, he poured himself a soda, popped some chicken tenders in the microwave, and then stood stunned when the alarm went off.
Gomez, of the 300 block of Hawthorne Circle in Mount Prospect, was charged with burglary. “He did say he was sorry,” Wagner said.
The manager of Mr. Beef & Pizza called Gomez’s crime “stupid.”
“We found hot food in the microwave – chicken tenders and French fries. We looked at the tapes of our cameras, and it just looked really stupid,” said manager Kurt Zundel. “The guy must have been hungry, or something.”
Bail was set at $5,000 for Gomez, whose next scheduled court date is Sept. 21 in Rolling Meadows, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.