Tipster Who Recognized ‘Burrito Bandit’ Rewarded with $5,000

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FOLSOM -- It was an unexpected Christmas gift for Woodland teacher Michael Monk. He was presented with a check for $5,000 by Bobby Coyote, the owner of the Dos Coyotes restaurant chain.

The Dos Coyote's Border Cafe was broken into by a rooftop burglar who unknowingly looked right into a surveillance video camera last June. At the time he jokingly talked about offering a couple of burritos for the identification of what he called the "Burrito Bandit." But while talking to FOX40 News, he upped the reward to $5,000.

He made good on his promise Thursday with the check presentation. Monk said he recognized the burglar as 56-year-old Kenneth Alan Basnett, who graduated from high school with Monk. Instead of staying anonymous, Monk cooperated fully with police.

“There were no ifs, ands or buts…I’m calling right now, there was no repercussion of what might happen later, but that needs to stop," said Monk who said he tried to help Basnett with his drug addiction before.

“It’s a huge benefit, really helps us in our investigation and be able to close out cases," said Police Detective Donald Rowberry.

Although nothing was stolen from the restaurant before Basnett fled, damage was done to the electronic billing systems that forced it to close and turn away a big Father's Day crowd.

"It was money well spent," said Coyote.

Monk said he didn't know there was a reward when he first saw the video. Now he says most of the reward will go to a technical and vocational education program in Woodland where he teaches.

“We could use this money to keep these programs flowing and introduce them to opportunities that they would not have," said Monk.

Basnett is now in a drug diversion program with a long jail sentence waiting for him if he fails.

"He definitely has some problems and issues... now he’s going to be able to get some help for it, so it’s actually a really good thing," said Coyote."