A family-owned dining hot spot is looking for help locating a key piece of equipment that was stolen last week.
Gatlin’s BBQ owner Greg Gatlin said the restaurant’s catering trailer was stolen off the company’s property near Tidwell Road and Bingle Road sometime between closing time Thursday night and opening Friday morning. A company Facebook post said the business also separately had a tailgate stolen and a window broken out at the restaurant at 3510 Ella Blvd.
“It’s unfortunate that it happened, and that there’s been in the neighborhood lately with people being opportunists and taking advantage of folks,” Gatlin said. “As a community, we just need to be vigilant about people that are coming around. If you see something that doesn’t look right, call the police.
“I’d rather call the police and have it wind up being nothing, then not do anything and then somebody winds up getting their property vandalized or stolen.”
The catering trailer is a popular draw for the restaurant, which uses it to cater weddings and other large-scale events that the brick-and-mortar restaurant can’t handle. Gatlin said the restaurant on wheels is equipped with a full kitchen and other tools to help Gatlin’s fulfill its service promise when cooking off-site.
In the aftermath of the robbery, the restaurant is searching for ways to continue delivering to customers. Whether that involves buying another trailer remains to be seen.
Gatlin said security likely will strengthened at the property near Tidwell and Bingle.
“We tried to secure it as much as we can. We put up new fencing with security code locks on it, parking boots and power locks on the trailer – everything we could do to theft-proof it,” Gatlin said. “But when somebody wants something, they’ll go to great lengths to get it.”
The company is hoping a call for help will help bring its trailer back home.
“We all look out for each other, and we’ve got to figure out how to get it stopped,” Gatlin said.