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South Ogden mayor, community help Japanese restaurant after break-in causes $45K in damage

Posted at 4:53 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 20:06:35-05

SOUTH OGDEN, Utah — A well-known and loved Japanese restaurant in South Ogden is recovering after massive damage and vandalism following a break-in this weekend.

Steven and Sono Farnsworth knew something was off when they came to their restaurant Saturday.

They arrived around noon and found a burglar in the kitchen, with a soda to-go in his hand. Shortly after discovering the suspect, they found all the damage he’d caused — an estimated 45,000 dollars’ worth.

This isn’t the first time Windy's Sukiyaki, which has been serving the area for nearly 50 years, has been broken into… But never to this extent.

Officers arrived on scene within three minutes and booked the suspect into custody. This man is known to police and is homeless. Officers booked him on burglary, criminal mischief, and theft charges.

“This was bad, but it could have been a lot worse, and I don’t know how you stop them? You can video tape them and you can catch them, but you can’t do anything to them so what’s the purpose?” said Steven Farnsworth, owner of Windy’s Sukiyaki.

The Farnsworth couple says they don’t have insurance, but they’re thankful the break-in didn’t delay their business this weekend as several community members helped them clean up the place in time to open Saturday evening.

“We had three hours to clean it up to open. We were totally booked, I mean, it’s Christmas, it’s our busiest time of the year,” Steven Farnsworth said.

Everyone pitched in to clean up — even the mayor.

“Officers wiping tables, the mayor vacuuming, our staff… It was emotional,” said Sono Farnsworth.

“For that kind of damage and the frustration on the owners’ faces, thinking they wouldn’t be able to open and disappoint everybody, and then everybody pulls together and made sure they stayed open… Most people there that night didn’t even know until they read about it later,” said Mayor Russ Porter.

Right now, Windy’s Sukiyaki is closed for the holidays and they’re thankful they’ll have time to fix up the restaurant in the meantime.