Police Find Cache of Stolen Restaurant Equipment

The stolen equipment was found in a truck driven by the suspects.
The stolen equipment was found in a truck driven by the suspects.

TOLEDO -- Toledo Police say more charges could come for a group of criminals who tried to drive off with $100,000 worth of restaurant equipment and other goods.  The suspects were stopped on Council, near Detroit, just before 5:00am Tuesday.  One is a former employee of the restaurant supply company that was hit, and now the owner of that company says he'll increase security inside and out.

Jameel Burkett, of Burkett and Sons, says Richard Carter was a former truck driver for the company.  But police say they found him with Dedric Foster driving a truck full of stolen equipment.  "Pizza ovens, mixers, refrigerators, freezers," said Jameel, listing what was taken.  "We try to load up the night before so the guys can get a head start," said Burkett.  "This was actually an order going down to North Carolina for a Marco's Pizza."

Police discovered there was more to the crew.  They say Bryant White, Muhammad Abu-Shaban and Mohamed Girad got away in another vehicle.  They were arrested nearby.  "You typically wouldn't expect some one to steal stuff like this," said Burkett.  "It's not easy to find a buyer for it."

Burkett says the equipment was a hefty load for the thieves, with each piece of equipment weighing anywhere from 600 to 4,000 pounds.  He says they got in by cutting wires to the outside fence.  "They cut the lines on it so it could be pulled by hand," said Burkett.

He says he doesn't know how the suspects knew which truck to take.  "As a business owner, you want to worry about growing your company and growing yourself.  You don't want to worry about thefts," said Burkett.  Now he plans to increase security inside the business and out, and run some tougher background checks on the people he hires.

"It was definitely a shock.  You don't expect your employees to do that to you," said Burkett.

Posted by AEB