A man being dubbed "The Bread Bandit" is believed to have stolen daily bread deliveries from outside at least two New Jersey restaurants, costing owners a lot of dough.
Police in Clark, N.J., have released surveillance photos of the suspect who has struck Bistro 1051 as many as three times since December, according to owner Michael Savvis.
"He was smooth about it," Savvis said.
In the photos, the man in shorts and a jacket is seen driving up to the restaurant's front door in his Ford F-150 pickup. He gets out and walks around to the back where the delivery bag of bread sits in front of the door. After picking up the bread, he tosses it into the back of his truck and drives away.
It only takes "10 to 15 seconds" according to Clark Police Captain Alan Scherb.
Savvis said the bakery delivery comes around 5 a.m. daily, before his restaurant opens up.
The latest theft happened on a Saturday morning in February around 7:30 a.m., when he lost enough bread -- worth $75 -- to feed 300 diners, he said.
At DiCosmo's Deli in the same shopping center, Joe Colatrella said his delivery from the same Bayonne bakery has been stolen several times in recent months.
"It hurts, it really hurts," Colatrella said. "It adds up, time after time."
Both Colatrella and Savvis said they had to scramble to find bread from other sources since their bakery in Bayonne closes early and has no more bread to send.
Savvis said the Bayonne bread is so tasty, his patrons definitely noticed the difference.
As to what the Bread Bandit could do with all that dough, Savvis had some ideas.
"Maybe he was reselling it, maybe he was having a party, maybe it was another restaurant he was taking it to," Savvis said.
He is concerned enough to offer a $200 reward for any tip that helps police capture the thief, in the form of a gift certificate to his restaurant.
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