WILLIAMSTOWN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Monroe Township police are looking for whoever is responsible for stealing a smoker from Fat Jack's BBQ in Williamstown, New Jersey.
Kevin Gross, the co-owner of Fat Jack's BBQ, told Action News the smoker was gone when employees came into work Monday morning. Police said it was stolen sometime around midnight Sunday, and have released surveillance photos of a flatbed truck, believed to be carrying the smoker.
"We only have enough product to last till maybe the end of the day," said Gross.
His father, Glenn Gross, also an owner, said, "We're devastated. This is our lifeline."
On Tuesday, customers could order from whatever food the family-owned restaurant had left.
"Stealing somebody's livelihood," said Shawn Smith, from Mount Holly, New Jersey.
The owners said this is their only smoker.
"We can't just sell burgers, sides, and fries," said Gross. "We're Fat Jack's BBQ, not Fat Jack's Burgers."
Gross says the same smoker was stolen back in 2017 out of their former Northeast Philadelphia location but was found.
Now it was stolen again, from behind a fence where Gross says it was locked tight.
"Why would they hurt a business," said Gross.
He adds the smoker isn't cheap. He estimated the cost at around $30,000, and it will take a couple of weeks to get a new one.
"It's a custom product, so it's not like we can go anywhere and buy it. It's probably about 6-8 weeks to make it custom for us," said Gross.
The family business is counting on the community to keep their eyes open for the two-ton piece of equipment that handles 700 pounds of meat.
"You can't miss a smoker down the road. It's a big silver box with red lockers," Gross said.
The business plans to invest in security cameras once they get a new one.
With Father's Day coming up, the BBQ place was looking forward to a boom in business.
If you spot the smoker, please contact Monroe Township police.