People are stealing beef brisket in Texas, the Wall Street Journal reports. Even after the capture of a brisket bandit in San Antonio this month, restaurateurs aren’t resting easy, because of fears that copycat criminals could prey on their barbecue pits. San Antonio police caught up with Allen Meneley, 34, on April 12, nearly two months after he became a prime suspect when a surveillance video appeared to show him snatching 13 smoked briskets and 10 cases of beer from a restaurant.
Investigations into three other cases were ongoing. Texas-style smoked brisket is trendy across the U.S., helping fuel a surge in prices that has been linked to a string of barbecue-related thefts in Austin. Brisket prices have come down recently, though they remain well above their historic levels. In Austin, a Texas man was convicted this year of stealing at least $2,000 worth of brisket from several local supermarkets. Detective Rickey Jones said he is still trying to determine the whereabouts of his accomplices—as well as the pilfered meat. He suspects the thief might have sold it on the black market.