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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


UH on-campus bar The Den suffers break-in

Three men tried to steal an ATM from The Den last Wednesday, according to the owner of the bar. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Three men tried to steal an ATM from The Den last Wednesday, according to the owner of the bar. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

The UH on-campus bar The Den had a break-in last week and almost lost an ATM, according to the owner. 

The break-in occurred at shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday morning when three men busted through the Den’s window and tried to pull the ATM out by chaining it to a minivan, owner Ben Pannell said. The burglary was filmed on Pannell’s store camera.

“I’m pretty disappointed that someone would break in,” Pannell said. “I think I’m not even gonna bring the ATM back, because it’s an attraction for thieves, and there’s a Chase bank next door.”

The ATM was bolted to the floor and was not able to be removed, and the alleged robbers fled on foot, according to Pannell. 

“One of the guys tried to break into our cash register, which doesn’t have any cash in it overnight,” Pannell said. “Once they figured they couldn’t get the ATM out, they just gave up.”

The men fled toward campus after their break-in failed, Pannell said.

“They left the car running, and the chain still attached to the ATM,” Pannell said. 

Pannell said the police were fast in responding and took the car for fingerprints. 

He also said the three men were wearing hoodies so their faces couldn’t be made out on the video. 

“We’re back to normal,” Pannell said. “We’ve got a boarded up window, and we’re expecting the window to get repaired by Monday.” 

As for the Den’s regulars, Pannell said his clientele has been supportive since the break-in. 

“Everybody here feels safe, since we’ve never had any issues like this before,” Pannell said. “Nobody’s been robbed in the parking lot before or anything like that.” 

However, Pannell felt that campus safety might be compromised by lack of lighting, even though his parking lot is well-lit.”

“The lights on University street have been out for two or three weeks,” Pannell said. “And they’re doing the parking garage and lights have been out over there, so it’s not as well lit.” 

The Cougar reached out to HPD to discuss the incident but they did not comment.

Despite the turn of events, Pannell was in good humor even the next morning when he posted about the incident on Instagram. 

Judging by their lack of intelligence, we are assuming they aren’t UH students or graduates,” Pannell said on an Instagram post.

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