Thieves broke into La Barbecue in Austin, Texas, at 4am Thursday. They cut off the barbecue pit locks and loaded 20 briskets into an SUV. Each brisket was worth $180, meaning at least $3,500. The restaurant said it has been broken into five times.

This was the fifth break-in at its Austin site since opening a decade ago, the restaurant told KVUE. According to a report by MySA, brisket is more expensive than ever amid rising production costs and soaring demand among amateur pitmasters across the US.

La Barbecue was founded in 2012 in Austin by Leann Mueller after parting ways with legendary pitmaster John after a spat. The joint regularly appears on lists of essential barbecue restaurants in the city published by the likes of Conde Nast Traveler and Eater. A criminologist told Insider that Americans could expect more theft, burglaries, and even homicide as a result of soaring prices.
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