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Restaurant bandits take a beer break

(ran SS edition of METRO & STATE)

Sunday was a scorcher. So hot, in fact, that when two burglars broke into Speedy Brown's restaurant in Ybor City, authorities say, they decided to kick back at the bar and have a beer before finishing up.

And that's exactly where a cleaning woman for the restaurant found Lee Allen Clark, 33, and Steve Lanier Dixon Jr., 36, when she arrived for work about 8:30 a.m., Tampa police said.

The woman, who was not identified, called police. When officers arrived, the men had stuffed a backpack with beer, including Bud Light and non-alcoholic Sharps and O'Douls.

The burglars also broke into a display case and took an unloaded antique rifle and several inactive hand grenades, police said.

Clark, of 7001 Interbay Blvd., was charged with armed burglary of a structure and criminal mischief. He was being held in lieu of $26,000 bail. Dixon, of 2923 17th Ave., was charged with armed burglary. He was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail. Both men, who have criminal records, were in the Hillsborough County Jail on Sunday.