National Epidemic Of People Shoving Meat Down Pants Is Not Close To Stopping

As we prepared to share yet another news story about someone shoving beef down their pants, we got the heartening news: Consumerist is not alone in our fixation on the meat pants dance. It’s part of a nationwide trend due to increasing beef prices, which is also the reason why cattle rustling is on the rise.

“The more these stories get in the news, the more idiots get the idea,” the barbecue editor of Texas Monthly warns, because of course Texas Monthly has a barbecue editor. None of our readers are idiots, though, right? Thought so.

Before we started tracking the phenomenon, there was a mini-crime wave in Austin, Texas where people would stuff brisket down their pants, exit stores, and sell the brisket to unsuspecting barbecue restaurant owners. Three restaurants were caught by the police in what was called “Operation Meat Locker,” and they closed down. Two are about to reopen, presumably with better meat-sourcing policies.

Beef prices aren’t rising quite as much as they have for the last few years, so meat theft isn’t as popular a crime as it once was. Now news reports are back to just random people who want meat that they can’t afford or just don’t feel like paying for.

Today’s report, for example, comes from Casper, Wyoming, where a man was accused of running out of an Albertson’s grocery store with a large package of beef down his pajama pants. Police caught up with him and found no meat in his pants, but there were ribeye steaks in a nearby garbage container. The man confessed and claimed that he ran off with the steaks because he was hungry and couldn’t afford them.

Dispatch: Beef burglar and jewel thief apprehended by law enforcement
A Brief History of Black Market Brisket [Texas Monthly]
‘Brisket Bandit’ illustrates system’s inability to stop repeat offenders [Houston Chronicle]

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