Times are tough out there. And if $600 worth of meat came our way, which of us would could say for sure we would turn it down?
An enterprising thief who robbed 384 pounds marinated meat from a West Rogers Park restaurant in September.
Majid Mustafa, 31, who manages the restaurant for his uncle, said he buys about 400 pounds of meat a day, then marinates it overnight and serves it the following afternoon.
On Sept. 15, records show he had 384 pounds of meat marinating in a basement walk-in cooler, Mustafa said.
There was marinated chicken, beef and lamb, he said. The next day, he received a call from his chef: The meat was gone.
"Meat thief," said Mustafa, shaking his head in acknowledgment of the absurdity of someone stealing so much raw meat. "We make a joke about it: Maybe he ate here before and wanted to stock up."
Surveillance video shows the man making elaborate arrangements to transport the meat away from the scene in the 6400 block of North Rockwell Street.
The video shows the suspect — dressed in a black jumpsuit and Nike gym shoes — drag a container, draped in a red decorative tapestry, into the alley. He then walks off camera into an adjacent alley to retrieve a bicycle outfitted with metal bars that form a platform on the front of the bike.
He then hoists the container onto the platform, but as he tries to ride away, the container tips over, spilling smaller containers of marinated meat onto the pavement.
The man then goes back into a gangway, where he's shown on another camera retrieving a shopping cart.
I know if I was committed to stealing $600 worth of meat, I wouldn't let a little thing like it falling on the ground in a Chicago alley stop me, either.