'Cooking crook' breaks into taco joint, whips up meal

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HICKSVILLE -

A burglar got away with more than just cash when he broke into a Hicksville taco restaurant.

Surveillance cameras were rolling as the man slipped on gloves and cooked himself a meal in the kitchen of Nelly's Tacqueria last week.

He stuck around for about an hour, and even cleaned up when he was finished, the video shows.

"Maybe he likes the recipe, maybe he loves my salsa," says owner Nelly Palacios. "Who knows?"

Before taking off, the burglar grabbed cash from the restaurant's register. He made off with about $100.

While Palacios wants police to catch the cooking crook, she wonders if things would have been different if he had visited the restaurant under different circumstances.

"I've been doing this since I was 14, and I see how he moved under darkness, it's kind of impressive," Palacios. "If he was not a criminal, maybe he [would have] got a chance to be part of my team."

News 12 is told that thief also visited the restaurant another time, and took only food in that instance.

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