In some places, meat is more valuable than gold. In Texas, that meat is beef brisket.
Restaurant owners have recently installed high tech security equipment and locked up this precious commodity in the wake of a slew of brisket robberies in the state.
So far, the ‘Brisket Bandit’ has made off with thousands of dollars worth of beef brisket, stolen in the middle of the night from several different barbecue restaurants in Texas. Authorities have yet to identify the suspect due to the suspect’s all black attire and obscured face in the security footage.
The crimes appear to be an act of desperation due to the sky-rocketing prices of brisket as a result of drought conditions that have reduced the amount of livestock available. The hot Texas sun scorched the grass that the cows used to feed on, which forced many ranchers to sell off their herds or drive them to slaughter.
According to USA Today, the price of wholesale Texas brisket more than doubled, from $1.40 a pound in 2009 to $3.45 a pound last year. This means restaurant owners have had to increase prices from $15 to $19 a pound in less than a year.
The famous Texas barbecue may transform from the favorite fare of the working class to a luxury comparable to that of a formal steak dinner if the situation does not improve.
In the meantime, owners are locking down and protecting what they have today because they are uncertain of what they’ll have, if anything at all, tomorrow.
And as for the ‘Brisket Bandit’, authorities will just have to follow the meat.