A father and son in upstate New York allegedly ripped off $41,000 worth of chicken wings in the time frame from February to November, according to the Onondaga County Sheriff.
The wingmen worked as cooks at a Syracuse restaurant where they supposedly cooked up the scheme.
“The duo allegedly developed a system where they would order chicken wings from the restaurant’s supplier, pick up the orders and re-sell the chicken on the street or to other local businesses for a reduced price, according to police,” CNY Central reported on this purported “fowl play.”
Multiple media outlets identify the suspects in the purloined poultry case as Paul Rojek, 56, and Joshua Rojek, 33.
“Deputies say the men billed the thousands of dollars of wing orders to the restaurant’s account…,” the Daily Mail reported. The eatery in question is Twin Trees Too Restaurant in Syracuse. “The owner of Twin Trees recently discovered the alleged theft when he was looking through his finances and contacted the authorities.”
The owners evidently got suspicious when 80 percent of the chicken wings they were buying for the restaurant from wholesalers apparently never made it to the kitchen. The subsequently hired a private detective to investigate further and gather evidence, which was then brought to the attention of local cops. The restaurant has since implemented measures to prevent employee theft.
The Rojeks face charges of third-degree larceny and first-degree falsifying business records in the case of the “hot wings.” Bail was set yesterday at $2,500.
“It’s actually kind of funny that there’s a black market for chicken wings. But the demand is that high,” a prosecutor told Syracuse.
A black market or under-the-table trade between shady operators and restaurants also apparently exits for turkey breasts, beef, shrimp, and lobster tails.
“To ballpark an idea of what the restaurant was missing out on in terms of potential sales, an order of mild, medium, hot, barbecue, or boneless wings will run you $9.99 at Twin Trees Two,” Munchies explained.
The elder Rojek allegedly was arrested last year for a chicken wing theft from another restaurant in the county, CBS News noted.
“I’m more bothered by the fact he would do this to my family, my family business, my father which makes it all the worse because it bothered him a lot, especially since he put so much trust in this guy and took him back in and helped him out,” manager Dan Ross told TWC News.
Chicken wings can be serious business in other contexts unrelated to the above incident. For example, a woman in the Orlando, Florida, area recently called 911, according to law enforcement authorities, because she wanted to place an order for cigarettes and chicken wings. She allegedly told the dispatcher last Wednesday evening that she need home delivery services otherwise she would pass out.
Elsewhere in Florida, a brawl broke out involving customers and employees at the deli counter of a Tampa-area Publix supermarket, with a bystander to the chaotic scene recording the encounter on cell phone video. Apparently the “beef,” as it were, got started over an order of chicken wings that went wrong.
In September, things got wild outside a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant as fans of the San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and other NFL teams brawled with each other, with the 49ers group getting the worst of it. Apparently, an argument got started inside the franchise establishment known for its “wings, beer, sports” slogan and then culminated in violence on the sidewalk in Downey, California, which is about 13 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
[Photo by Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office]