Reporting Lou Young
ORANGEBURG, NY (CBS 2 / WCBS 880) - A popular Rockland County eatery is missing Thursday night, after a gleaming, stainless steel hot dog stand was stolen – all under the watchful eye of a security camera.
Someone stole the Fred’s Frank trailer – an entire hot dog stand – in Orangeburg. The good news is that police have the theft on surveillance footage.
Residents in the area are appalled, reports CBS 2′s Lou Young.
“I think it’s awful,” resident Joseph Hand said.
“I’m mad as hell,” Fred Martucci, the owner of the stand, said. “They stole my business.”
A gang of three men boosted the business last Thursday night. The surveillance cameras at Orangeburg Auto Repair, where Fred kept his trailer, caught the thieves working out of a Ford pickup truck, cutting the lock and security cable.
“We left here almost seven o’clock again, so those people were watching us when we leave,” the auto shop’s owner, Val Hererra, said.
The thieves hooked the trailer to their truck’s hitch and drove off. They were gone in under 20 minutes, and Martucci said he remembers the criminals hanging around and asking a lot of questions.
“How long you been here? How much does one of these cost? We’re thinking about getting into the business. Do you take it home? Do you leave it here? It’s a beautiful truck,” Fred recalled them saying. “They were definitely, you know, checking it out.”
Martucci still has the sliced cable at his home in Emerson, N.J., along with a refrigerator that’s packed with hot dogs and chopped onions. He’s still seething with anger at the people who put him out of business.
“They stole my business, they stole my livelihood,” Martucci said. “It’s not like they stole a pair of sneakers from me, or came in and just robbed me, period. They stole my whole business.”
Martucci, a retired truck driver, took out a mortgage to buy the trailer a year ago. He wants it back, but he wants those guys in the pickup caught even more.
Orangeburg police have sent the video off to be enhanced to see if they can pick up a license plate number.