Police are searching for this “Barbacoa Bandit” after he was caught breaking into the Chipotle on F Street near Capitol One Arena and ate leftovers overnight.
The date was New Year’s Day. By the time the clock had struck midnight, most stores and restaurants on F Street had already closed. Most revelers had decided to retire for the night. One hungry criminal, however, had a hankering for Chipotle and didn’t care that the restaurant was closed.
The store manager estimated that the suspect ate $60 of barbacoa — shredded beef — and then washed it down with a $3 bottle of apple juice.
This is where he lost me, though. Apple juice? I get that this location doesn’t offer alcohol, so he couldn’t crack open a Modelo Especial. But the best he could do was a Nantucket Nectar bottle of apple juice? He’s facing charges of burglary, theft, and destruction of property. I know, it’s not reasonable to expect criminals to be logical. But who in their right mind would risk jail time for apple juice? At least hit up the soda dispenser and get some of that delicious lemonade. With no one there, he wouldn’t even need to sneakily fill up his water cup with Minute Maid’s finest … Admit it, we’ve all done it.
Anyway, this thief did not want to have his meal disturbed. So, he reportedly destroyed the store’s alarm system. During the day, this Chipotle usually has a security guard stationed near the entrance, presumably to stop people from walking right into the freezer and eating all the leftovers. With the security system destroyed and no after-hours security guard, there was no one to stop his after-hours grazing.
Did the Barbacoa Bandit leave the store before he could get caught? Nope. The restaurant’s morning manager arrived around 6 a.m. to find the thief still casually sitting on a stool in the restaurant dining area. Realizing the jig was up, the suspect got up and left the restaurant, apparently in silence, and then walked next door to the neighboring McDonald’s.
Seriously, how hungry could this man be? He spent the night in a Chipotle, feasting on their day-old shredded beef, and then when he got caught, he just nonchalantly walked to a McDonald’s next door? He must have either a stomach of steel or cholesterol that is through the roof. Though, I suppose it is entirely possible that he didn’t go to the McDonald’s looking for a meal. After eating that much Chipotle barbacoa, I can’t even begin to imagine how badly he would have needed to use the bathroom …
For such a brazen act, it is astonishing that the only thing police have to go on is this fuzzy surveillance photograph. The witness’s description — which isn’t really all that more descriptive than the surveillance image — has the suspect wearing a dark, floppy hat, a yellow/orange zippered sweatshirt, baggy pants, and a backpack at the time of the crime.
Police are asking the public to come forward with any information they might have on the Barbacoa Bandit (our name, not theirs). I can’t imagine there were a lot of people casually strolling by a Chipotle at 3 or 4 a.m. on New Year’s Day, but if you know anything that could help D.C. Metro Police solve this crime, you can call (202) 727-9099 or text a tip to the police tip line at 50411.
Did you hear about the D.C. man who was arrested for trying to ship $30k-worth of crystal meth at a UPS store? Click here.