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Boozed-Up Burglar Breaks Into Pasadena Taco Bell Just to Eat the Shells

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The suspect later turned himself in and confessed to eating 10 Doritos taco shells

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Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

A drunk and hungry man broke into a Pasadena Taco Bell on Saturday night, intent on gobbling up nearly a dozen Doritos taco shells. The man eventually sobered up enough to walk into a police station four hours later to confess his crime to authorities, and was arrested on the spot.

A witness called the Pasadena Police Department to report a robbery in progress at 3:15 a.m., and gave a physical description of a man breaking into the 2050 Fair Oaks Ave Taco Bell. The Pasadena Star News reported that four hours later, Jose Cruz entered the Garfield Pasadena police station to come clean. The 22-year-old suspect spoke with PPD lieutenant Jesse Carrillo, who said Cruz simply wanted to eat Taco Bell. “He said he was drunk and hungry and broke in the business to eat taco shells,” said lieutenant Pete Hettema.

It is unlikely that investigators can say for certain how many taco shells Cruz actually ate, but Carrillo stated that Cruz allegedly stole something in the neighborhood of ten taco shells from the location’s counter, and saw crumbs on the floor. According to Hettema, Cruz matched the witnesses’ clothing description was booked on suspicion of commercial burglary. He remains in jail on $20,000 bail, and is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.