Restaurant owner thankful for customers after health issues, robbery

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by Jayson Chesler

Video report by Javier Soto

Posted on July 12, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Updated Saturday, Jul 12 at 12:28 PM

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Randy Walters, the owner of Wimpy's Paradise and Pittsburgh Willy's, a pair of hot dog and hamburger restaurants, had a rough two week stretch that his loyal customers are helping him out of.

Walters said his string of bad luck began when someone stole his hot dog cart from behind his restaurant in broad daylight. The cart was where Walters started his business, before eventually expanding Pittsburgh Willy's to a larger location and founding a second restaurant.

"It's an old cart -- it's nine years old -- but it's still my cart, it's the original one and I wanted to have it forever," Walters said.

A week later, Walters made a mistake that cost him a lot of money. Walters said he was working late at his restaurant and decided to call a cab to drive him home at 1 a.m., rather than waking his wife up to come get him. Walters had receipts from the restaurant and a large sum of cash to deposit in the bank in a bag with him. The next morning, Walters said he realized he forgot the bag in the car, but they were already long gone.

That series of misfortune took its toll on Walters heart, not just his finances. 3 days after he lost the money, it was more bad luck for Randy Walters.

"I started experiencing classic heart attack symptoms, chest pains," Walters said. "I went to the emergency room and the next day I had a stent put in."

Walters took to Facebook to try to get some help after he got out of the hospital. He said he did not want to ask anyone for a financial handout, so he asked his friends and customers to come eat at his restaurant instead.

Not only were Walters' customers able to fill up his restaurant, some started a fundraising campaign for him, which can be found at their GoFundMe page.

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