Popular Fresno restaurant burglarized for seventh time during pandemic

One setback after another keeps hitting the owner and employees of Oggi Trattoria.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Oggi Trattoria has been targeted again.

The popular Italian restaurant in the Tower District was once called a "hidden gem" of Fresno.

But there's no hiding the pain, frustration, and loss, from multiple burglaries, that hit even harder during the pandemic.

"They did damage that wasn't necessary. A lot of the items that they stole they didn't even take. They burned it in the dumpster," says owner Louis Maglieri.

RELATED: Burglars strike beloved Tower District restaurant during COVID-19 closure

Maglieri is living through the worst kind of deja vu after a seventh break-in over the Thanksgiving holiday week.

Oggi's was closed because of state-ordered pandemic shutdowns but Louis says shuttered doors are an open invitation to crime. And he believes people who live in encampments behind his business are behind the break-ins.

"They keep cutting through the fence, they steal my things all the time. They vandalize," he says.

Maglieri has been in the restaurant business for some 40 years but this ordeal is all new to him. He's more than frustrated by the mixed messages from the top down.

When you have people like our government living like royalty, and I can't sell a plate of pasta with 6 feet of social distancing, we have a problem in this country," he says.

State Senator Andreas Borgeas also believes we have problems. The first one he says is no data on sources of COVID to back up restaurant closures and second, no support for the suffering industry - but he's taking action.

"I am introducing a Keep California Working act and that would allow for $2.6 billion to be devoted to businesses and their employees to allow them to get through this extraordinary period," he says.

Maglieri says he's lost close to half a million dollars between closures and break-ins but the toll on his family and workers can't be measured.

Borgeas says he has bipartisan support for the Keep California Working Act and hopes to push it through the legislature on an "urgency basis".

Until then, Louis Maglieri is adjusting again to survive this latest ordered closure, changing the menu to food that 'travels better' for take-out.

He's also finishing the patio addition to be ready to serve outdoors, when restrictions are lifted.

He says Fresno Police have reached out to him and are trying to help find a solution to the repeated break-ins and vandalism.
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.