BUSTLETON (WTXF) - "My kitchen manager said 'where did you take the smoker?' I said 'I didn't take the smoker,'” said Glenn Gross.
Gross was talking about the phone call he got on Friday morning from an employee at his restaurant, Fat Jack's BBQ on the Boulevard in the Northeast.
"It's been out there for six years and nobody's touched it," he said.
But when he got to work, he found an empty space where his 4,000 lb. smoker used to be.
"That's our lifeline. We do ribs, chicken, pork, brisket and everything else in there and now we don't have a smoker."
It happened sometime overnight Thursday. Glenn says the smoker is about nine feet tall and eight feet wide with a toe hitch making it about 10 feet wide altogether.
A hefty job for a thief. It was also locked.
"I guess somebody realized they had plenty of time at night so they pried off the lock for the hitch and pried off the chains and nobody paid attention because 2-3 o'clock in the morning on the Boulevard there's no traffic," he said.
Customers already noticed the smoker is gone.
"We smoke outside so people see the smoke billowing out. People commented on it and the space just looks empty. To us it's devastating," said Glenn.
Police are checking with stores nearby to see if surveillance cameras captured anything. Glenn says business will be tough until the smoker is returned.
"It was a propane tank, trailer, smoker itself, that's $30,000 worth of equipment," said Glenn. He’s offering a $1,000 reward for information that gets his smoker back.