clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Meat Crime Is a Growing, 'Nasty' Problem in the US

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Here comes USA Today with a look at meat thieves, just like the ones who were selling meat to Sam's, La Morenita and Willie's. An APD bust called Operation Meat Locker sent undercover officers to hawk meat at each restaurant, which resulted in their being shuttered last month.

Turns out meat crime is a growing problem nationwide: The National Retail Federation has done research that shows businesses lose as much as $30 billion a year from "organized retail crime" such as meat theft. 95% of retailers fell victim to such crimes in 2010, up from 89% the year before. Each of the restaurants mentioned above purchased over $1,500 worth of meat before arrests were made.

It's also a health risk, and not just because the thieves shove the meat down their pants to get it out of the store. According to one of the investigators on APD's Operation Meat Locker bust, "They're watching these guys with this stuff in their pants, and besides being nasty, what's the temperature of the meat?" See, it's nasty in more than one way.

· Operation Meat Locker Is Latest Attempt to Ax Meat Thieves [USA Today]
· Sam's BBQ, Willie's Bar-B-Que and La Morenita Shuttered in 'Operation Meat Locker' [-EATX-]

HEB. [Photo: athomson / Flickr]