Thieves steal meat smoker from Downtown Fresno restaurant

Surveillance cameras captured two guys in black hoodies with meat smoker covered with silver wrapping.

Just the tip in downtown Fresno smokes all its meat in-house. The owner, Mariah Metzger says that can take up to eight hours and Fridays are the busiest for them. Last week, her business partner Eric Johnson got ready the night before.

"It makes the whole day smoother for everybody. If it wasn't for him doing that we wouldn't be able to open at all."

That's because someone stole their smoker. It happened around one in the morning. Surveillance cameras captured two guys in black hoodies with the appliance covered with silver wrapping.

"I can't believe they stole my smoker. It is three feet tall, it is 4 feet long. 2 feet wide, it's big. You would see someone drive down the street or with a smoker pushing it. We were in a lot of shock."

The thieves climbed through chain-linked fences and a wrought-iron gate, pushing the 250-pound smoker out the same way.

"They will prey upon anything you have, that you have to lay around and you don't keep an eye on. Or don't watch meticulously they will come and take it, "said Johnson.

For now, they're using a loaner smoker which Metzger says, one of her supporters offered up right away.

"It made me angry but it also drove me. I am not going to let them win. I am not giving up and I am opening my doors," said Metzger.

The crew at Just the Tip is now waiting for insurance to kick-in and that could take a few weeks. In the meantime, the owners are installing their own surveillance camera video.

If you think you know those guys, you can call Fresno Police at 559-621-7000

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