Cooks and busboys foiled a break-in early Tuesday morning at the Island Cow, sparking a Sanibel Police investigation that kept the restaurant closed for most of the breakfast traffic.
At least one person wearing a mask broke a window to get into the restaurant about 6:15 a.m., startling the employees, then fled into the woods behind the property.
"One of the employees was throwing silverware at him as he ran," said Island Cow owner Brian Podlasek.
Sanibel police responded to a burglary reported at the Island Cow Tuesday Morning. The property was blocked off as a crime scene for much of the morning, but food service resumed mid-morning.
Police tried to track the suspect in the woods for hours without success. A Lee County Sheriff's helicopter circled the sky above assisting in the search.
"It's the second break-in in 10 days," said Podlasek. "We had one in June, too. I made a joke about it saying someone wanted to steal our muffin recipe."
Podlasek said the recent rash of break-ins resulted in having a more top-of-the-line camera and security system installed.
"It's a serious system, and it is up and running," he said.
The investigation into the incident continues as police try to identify the suspect.
"Nothing was taken because there was a cleaning crew inside," said Sanibel Police Chief William Tomlinson.
A rear-end collision was investigated by Sanibel police at about 1:30 p.m. Monday on Periwinkle Way, which added to traffic congestion in both directions around a roadway shoulder construction zone.
According to the report, a 2000 model Toyota SUV driven by Alden Richter of Fort Myers was stopped in the eastbound lane in traffic about 200 yards from the construction.
Ethel Sinow of Sanibel, driving a 1998 model Chevrolet Lumina, crashed into the rear of Richter's vehicle causing the airbags to deploy.
Lee County EMS responded to the scene. Richter complained of minor neck and back pain and Sinow suffered bruising in the crash. Both drivers declined to be transported. Sinow's vehicle had to be towed from the scene.
Sinow was issued a traffic citation for careless driving.