AUSTIN, Texas - 20 briskets were stolen from la Barbecue, an East Austin barbecue, early Thursday morning.
General Manager Alison Clem says the thief hopped a fence around 4 a.m. and beelined for a smoker.
"We're kind of speculating that he's been watching. You know, somebody that used to cook for us possibly. We haven't had turnover in our house since we've been here, so it wouldn't be current. So that's also kind of strange that he knew," she said.
The incident, which was captured on surveillance cameras, lasted approximately 15 minutes.
"One of my strongest guys back there, can barely lift ten briskets in a box, and [the thief] lifted them over his head. So, I really just think that it was planned," said Clem.
Clem, who noted the rising price of brisket, says the loss is "heartbreaking." Factoring in labor and seasoning she estimates the briskets cost approximately $3,000.
"And that's just raw. That's not even like retail," she explained.
This is the seventh or eighth time the business has been broken into. However, it is the first time someone has stolen meat.
"I can only speculate that he possibly works for a food truck or a restaurant I don't know, even throwing a party. I have no idea."