A local café was badly damaged by an SUV last week.



Carrabelle Junction remains open for business, but owner Ron Gembe would like to know who abandoned a white sport utility vehicle in his store on Wednesday night, March 6.



Gembe said he was home in bed when he received a call from police at about 1 a.m. Thursday morning, informing him of the crash. He arrived at his business to find the SUV lodged in his storefront.



“I have insurance, but that doesn’t pay for the inconvenience,” he said. “Sweeping up glass at 2:30 in the morning is not my idea of fun. It was everywhere. I found it way back behind the counter.”



Police determined the SUV had been reported stolen. The driver abandoned it at the scene and apparently walked away from the collision.



Gembe said investigating officers discovered a fresh six-pack of beer in the car and hope it was purchased at one of the two convenience stores located just south of the café along US 98. If so, they may be able to get a look at the culprit on a security tape, but some people speculate the SUV was headed south, rather than north, at the time of the accident because a metal pole north of the café was also knocked askew.



“The good news is nobody was hurt,” said Gembe. “I’m glad it happened at midnight instead of noon.”



He has made the best of a bad situation by decorating the temporary plywood wall of his shop with brightly colored signs bearing comic book style captions. But a quarter of Carrabelle Junction’s dining room is still off-limits until the wall and window can be replaced.



A spokesman for the Carrabelle Police Department said no further information was available because the accident is still under investigation.



Carrabelle Junction is located on Tallahassee Street less than a block north of US 98, across from the Carrabelle fire station. Police would like to speak to anyone who saw the accident or who saw someone leaving the area on foot around midnight on Wednesday.