How A Georgia 'Beef Thief' Stole $15k Of Restaurant Meat

Police in Roswell, Georgia are searching for a person accused of stealing $15,000 worth of meat from a high-end steak house in February.

According to WSB-TV Atlanta the suspect first struck on the morning of Valentine's Day when the restaurant, located north of Atlanta, was heavily stocked for the holiday rush. The perpetrator, who has since been nicknamed the "beef bandit," took multiple boxes of expensive cuts of meat from an exterior walk-in freezer, including Wagyu and Kobe beef, Ahi tuna, and the restaurant's signature "long-bone" ribeyes, which owner Willie Degel described as 20-inch "Fred Flintstone racks of beef."

After discovering the theft, Degel told the outlet that he beefed up security on the freezer by adding better locks, but only three days later, the same suspect returned, cut the locks with a bolt-cutter, and proceeded to empty the freezer once again.

"Beef Thief" on the lam

After viewing surveillance video from the incidents, news station WRWD reports restaurant staff and police identified the suspect as Warren Kearney of Sandy Springs, Georgia. Kearney had recently applied for a job and been hired at Uncle Jack's, and was due to start work later in the week.

Restaurant manager Eddie Elrod told Fox 5 Atlanta that since the restaurant is part of a local chain, they were able to get some stock from other locations for the holiday, but were still undersupplied. "We've had to be very open and honest with our guests, and we had to reduce our menu some. We had to reduce our times down," the manager shared.

Elrod also called the theft a "violation," explaining to WRWD that the people most hurt by the robbery were the staff. "It takes away from the servers we have here and then what money they can make because then we're not able to serve as many guests and it just, unfortunately, they're the ones who get hurt the hardest."

Settling a beef

While the issue is being treated seriously, the strange nature of the case has lead to a bit of levity by authorities, who stated in a Facebook post that they "have a beef with [Kearney]." Roswell police have issued multiple warrants for Kearney's arrest including for 2nd degree burglary.

The resturant also joked about the incident on Facebook, sharing the WSB-TV Atlanta clip and writing that to be robbed twice in one week means "our steaks must be the best in Fulton County."

Degel told Fox 5 that anyone with information that helps catch the thief will be rewarded with a free dinner for two once a month for the next year. At a steakhouse with a dinner prefix menu starting at nearly $55 per person, that reward could be quite the treat for a local carnivore.

As for what has become of the meat, it is unclear. Either the suspect has an extra large freezer at home and plans to eat incredibly well for the foreseeable future or, as Degel speculated, they sold it.