WILLOW SPRINGS, N.C. — On the biggest barbecue weekend of the year, a bandit took a brand-new, $1,400 cooker from a Willow Springs restaurant.
The cooker was parked in the back of Peggy Sutton's restaurant, Sutton's Barbeque. Sutton said someone hooked the cooker to a truck and drove off on Highway 55.
"It was my show pig cooker. I'd take it to people's homes, weddings, wedding rehearsal dinners," she said.
The theft could not have come at a worse time. Sutton said the Fourth of July is her biggest time to impress. Now, she will have to use an old cooker for catering events.
Sutton said she has had a string of bad luck recently. In June, a man suffered a diabetic seizure and rammed right through the front window. More than half the restaurant is now closed while repairs are being made.
Sutton said she will find a way to keep her tangy barbecue coming, despite the unappetizing actions of a crook.
"It does leave a bittersweet taste in your mouth for someone to get it for nothing," she said.
Sutton said her cooker was towed away by a red S-10 Chevrolet pickup, driven by a white man. She was unable to get a tag number. The Wake County Sheriff's Office said it does not have any suspects.