For many Americans, barbecue is sacred. But the “meat smell” — the siren call of brisket — can also drive people to do crazy things. Like, say, steal a 1,700-pound smoker from a restaurant’s parking lot. That’s exactly what transpired at Albuquerque restaurant Pepper’s Ole Fashion BBQ early Sunday morning, and owner Daniel Morgan tells the Albuquerque Journal that he can’t think of any other explanation for why it happened. Needless to say, the bandits did not leave the brisket behind.
The thieves were able to make off with the $5,800, 200-gallon pit because Morgan keeps it on a trailer, as he primarily uses it for catering gigs. Problematically for him, the crime wasn’t caught on the restaurant’s security cameras. (He says he hopes neighboring businesses’ cameras caught the perpetrators’ vehicle driving off.) If the cops can’t track down any smoke signals, replacing the smoker will be a struggle for Morgan, who tells the Journal that buying a new one will “throw a big blow to the little consistent income we do have.” He’s thought about launching a crowdfunding campaign, but has decided to hold off for now. Talking with the paper, Morgan asks, “What on God’s earth do you think they would want with it?” The cops’ greatest hope, right now, is that the thieves will be stuffed from an endless meal of brisket, sausages, and ribs — and won’t be able to put up a fight or run when they’re found.