$3,000 Worth of Beef Jerky Was Stolen from a Mom and Pop Shop in Latest Food Heist

The owner noted, “It just broke my heart."

Beef jerky

Juan Monino / Getty Images

The holiday season is supposed to be all about giving, but a group of thieves decided to go full Grinch on a small beef jerky shop in New Mexico instead. 

According to the local news outlet KRQE, three suspects broke into Dee Dee’s Finest Beef Jerky, a specialty retailer in Espanola, New Mexico, twice during the first weekend of December. The suspects let themselves in at 10 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, and then returned a second time at 4 a.m. the following day. The store’s security cameras caught the as-yet-unidentified individuals filling a trash bag with packages of beef jerky. Denise Vigil, the owner of Dee Dee’s Finest Beef Jerky, said that between $2,000 to $3,000 worth of jerky was stolen. 

Vigil told the outlet that the suspects took much of the store’s holiday inventory. “It just broke my heart,” she added. “[W]e’re a small business, we’re a family business, we’re here to help out the community, not trying to get rich off the community.” 

Beef jerky seems to be a frequent target for customers who prefer to use the five-finger discount. In March 2021, two alleged thieves led police on a chase through Louisa, Kentucky, after taking what was described as “a large quantity of beef jerky” from a local Walmart. And in December 2021, Amarillo Crime Stoppers asked for help identifying two people who allegedly “committed several beef jerky thefts” at convenience stores in Texas, taking over $1,000 worth of dried beef. (The pair were later identified.) 

And these haven’t been the only high-dollar food heists of the year. In October, five law enforcement agencies in Nebraska joined forces to identify and arrest three men who were allegedly responsible for stealing $9 million worth of frozen meat across six states. The three men from the Miami area are suspected of participating in 45 separate thefts at meat processing facilities in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. 

And in April, a thief (or thieves) somehow stole 60 cheese wheels from a Dutch dairy farm. The farmers were down $22,000 worth of inventory but were somehow more astonished that someone could make off with more than 1,300 pounds of their dairy products. 

Back in New Mexico, Vigil urged anyone with information about the beef jerky theft to call the store at 505–367–3520 or email them at ddsfbjnm@gmail.com. 

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