Rib Shack owners fall victim to thieves

FRESNO, Calif.

The restaurant had just closed and the owner was in the process of moving out, when everything from a commercial refrigerator, to an ice maker was taken.

Thursday was named Jason Musgrove day in the city of Fresno. But, it was a bittersweet moment, because most of Musgrove's commercial cooking equipment was stolen within the past few days.

Jason Musgrove owns the Rib Shack in Central Fresno. Most holidays he spends with his family making meals for others who need a hot plate from a kind heart. Thursday he was honored by the Fresno City Council with a proclamation for his generosity.

Musgrove said, "We fed over 200 people that day and it was like I said, a very good success."

Fresno City Council President Clint Olivier said, "He has a very touching story, he has a wonderful family and he is a person of faith. I was very inspired by having him here at the city council and I was proud to declare today, his day."

The acknowledgement comes at a very difficult time for the Musgroves. Lower than expected barbecue sales have recently forced the family to shut down the restaurant and only offer catering services. Musgrove was in the process of moving out when his commercial equipment was stolen.

Even worse, he cancelled his insurance policy when he closed the doors on the restaurant. Even pots and pans and knives were taken.

Musgrove said, "The one thing they didn't get was our smoker which, that's our main ingredient."

The landlord told Action News a lock on the front door was broken sometime within the past few days. Many expensive appliances are also missing including a stainless steel commercial refrigerator, meat slicer and countless other equipment.

While council president Clint Olivier didn't expect to hear was how a family dedicated to serving others became the victims of a cold hearted holiday heist.

Olivier explained, "If you're a carpenter, and someone steals your tools, you can't work and the same situation applies here."

"You feel intruded upon," Musgrove said. "You are busy doing good, doing good and then someone turns around and steals from you. It hurts but, at the same time, you know, I got my family, so everything's going to be ok."

Musgrove is still planning to serve up meals to those less fortunate for Christmas. Only now, he's scrambling to find a kitchen, cookware and utensils to make it happen.

A credit card machine was also taken, and within the past few days there's been several fraudulent refund transactions made.

The Musgrove family says they don't care who took the kitchen equipment, they just want it back to continue catering and serving the community.

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