Smokers that were stolen from Red Rok BBQ and Bourbon Saloon early Monday were found by Fort Wayne police after following up on a tip, according to the owner.
Santino Zurzolo said he didn’t have many details and the smokers wouldn’t be returned until Monday, and he thanked everyone in a Facebook post who shared information about the thefts.
“They cut off the locks and trailered them up,” said Dino Zurzolo, father to Santino, on Friday about the theft at the restaurant, 2701 W. Jefferson Blvd.
The Zurzolos say the guy or guys who stole the portable smokers were driving a 1993 to 1996 pale-colored Ford pickup truck that is also implicated in a July 18 theft of a log splitter at MulchWorx on East Washington Boulevard.
Public Information Officer Chris Felton said police have helped in the identification and recovery of the smokers.
There is still no word on the MulchWorx log splitter.
Videos of the fleeing truck were caught on Red Rok and MulchWorx surveillance cameras and were posted on their Facebook pages.
On Facebook, MulchWorx said it was offering a $250 reward for the return of the log splitter.
The Zurzolos said they would also offer a reward. In the meantime, they are using a borrowed smoker, Santino Zurzolo said, and a new one will be delivered Wednesday.
One of the smokers was worth $20,000, the cost of the replacement. It used propane fuel and could cook about 500 pounds of meat, the Zurzolos said.
With an insurance deductible of $15,000, it will barely be worth filing the claim, the Zurzolos said.
An older and smaller, wood-fired manual smoker was worth about $8,000 and cooked about 700 pounds, they said.
One of the smokers was taken last year through a legal repossession, the Zurzolos said. They added that they do not believe this incident was related to repossession.
The smokers were on wheels to make it easy to participate in festivals, but no more.
“No more wheels,” said Dino Zurzolo. “They’re going to be in cement. They’re not going to be able to get them this time.”