Andrew Washington stands next to the barbecue that was stolen May 30 and returned last Wednesday. The van used to haul the barbecue, a Ford Econoline, was also stolen. Washington uses the grill to run his home-based business, and was very thankful to have it back.
By DANIEL HERATY
DEARBORN – A Dearborn small business owner is breathing a sigh of relief after his barbecue trailer was recovered Wednesday.
The nine-foot-long grill, valued at about $7,000, was found in the 12000 block of Lauder in Detroit. It is custom built and has a detached firebox in which fuel is burned.
Andrew Washington, a single father of three, uses the grill for the home-based business he owns, King-Q Bar B-Que Service, which provides on-site barbecue catering for parties. An anonymous tip led to the recovery of the grill, which was stolen between 11 p.m. May 29 and 7 a.m. May 30 in front of a house in the 1000 block of North Vernon and recovered after Washington’s story was featured on local television news.
“I’m ecstatic,” Washington said. “If I never went to the news, (the grill’s recovery) might never have happened.”
He said it was in good shape and that a grill rack, which would cost about $150 to replace, was all that was missing. He said he has not had to cancel any jobs because of the theft.
Washington’s Ford Econoline van, which was used to move the trailer, was recovered Monday in the 15000 block of Patton in Detroit. He said the thieves damaged the dashboard to steal the radio, broke the door lock to get into the van and damaged the steering column, but there was no other serious damage.
Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said no suspects are in custody, but police officers are following up on leads. He credited news reports with getting the word out on the theft.
“My hat’s off to the media,” Haddad said. “They did a good job, because somebody recognized the van and the barbecue pit. There was enough information put out by the media which alerted citizens.”
Haddad said that tips from residents played a key role in the grill’s recovery.
“It’s proof positive that citizens do the right thing when they’re called upon,” Haddad said. “There are good people everywhere.”
(Daniel Heraty can be reached at [email protected])