John Mueller arrived to his barbecue trailer at 2500 E. Sixth St. Wednesday to discover his largest barbecue pit missing. Apparently thieves stole the pit overnight Tuesday. Mueller says he is still open for business, but the loss effectively cuts the Taylor native’s barbecue production in half. John Mueller Meat Co. is open Thursday-Monday in East Austin.
This is not the first time Mueller’s business has been the victim of a crime.
In August 2014, someone broke into his trailer and stole a cash drawer, an iPhone and an iPad from the pitmaster. Mueller, with the help of a local bartender, lured a man police later identified as Orlando Ray Vallejo back to the business with a ruse in which they claimed to be a customer that wanted to pay cash for catering.
According to police, Vallejo replied with pictures that investigators then used as evidence. When Mueller and Vallejo set a meeting to exchange money, Vallejo instead met with officers, who arrested him and charged him with burglary, police said.
(Additional reporting by the Statesman’s Phil Jankowski.)