BEL AIR, Md. — It may look like any other food trailer, but this is the Custom 650---a five-by-eight foot rolling stainless steel model, complete with fryer, flat griddle, steam table, coffee brewer, cold chest and sink---the envy of any food vendor and perhaps that's why somebody stole it from outside Humagalas restaurant in bel air.
"We haven't had a chance to use it,” said the restaurant’s controller, Rusty Pachilis, “We just acquired that trailer a few months ago and now we're out $20,000 to replace that trailer, and we'll use that in local community events and we do a lot of charity work on a monthly basis and so now we're out. We're going to have to deal with that."
Harford County Sheriff's deputies say an employee reported that the trailer had vanished almost two weeks ago, and it hasn't turned up since.
"He last saw the food truck on Thursday the 21st at 6pm when he left, and when he came in the following day, the 22nd, at seven o'clock in the morning, it was gone," said Lt. Tom Gamble of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.
Gone, in the time it took to cut a heavy chain, to hitch it to a getaway vehicle and to drive away, taking the restaurant's ability to share its food on the road and to build its brand in the region with it.
In a state which has drawn criticism for being tough on small businesses, the theft is tough to swallow for this locally-owned restaurant.
"People think that you're making lots of money and they're thinking, 'Oh, I'm paying seven dollars for a glass of wine. This place is killing it', but we make pennies. That's exactly what happens at the end of the day,” said Pachilis, “This is a huge hit for us and very difficult to absorb."
A cash reward up to $2,000 awaits the person who provides information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case.
Just call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.