Thefts leave food cart owners out thousands of dollars

Police investigate theft from food...

MADISON, Wis. - Madison police are investigating thefts from food carts parked on the city's north side. 

Nate Overland is a Madison chef who owns the Metropolitain food cart, which serves craft po'boy sandwiches and salads. He says his cart was parked at the FEED Kitchens in the lot on North Sherman on Labor Day when his $5,000 generator was stolen. The business is also at a standstill without the generator's power, which is revenue lost, owners say. 

"Taking a close to $10,000 hit was not what we planned and not too good for our business," Overland said. 

The thief attempted to steal from other carts parked nearby, too, like Cyndy Heffling's comfort-food-serving Buzzy's Lake House. 

"They did it really quickly," Heffling said. "They tried to take mine and tried to take two others as well. I don't know why they abandoned mine, but I'm glad they did."

There are numerous surveillance cameras in the area but the thief was positioned in such a way that the vehicle's plates weren't visible. The FEED Kitchens plans to add more cameras, but the cart owners said they're not taking any risks while the suspect is on the loose. When Thony Clarke's Cafe Costa Rica cart is off the clock, he keeps his generator in his vehicle. 

"I kinda take it up and down, it's like 175 to 200 pounds that I have to lift every day," Clarke said. 

Overland said he's protecting his new generator, too. 

"We don't park here anymore," Overland said. "We have an undisclosed secure location, and we drive this away every night and park it where we feel it's safe." 

Madison police Capt. Jay Lengfeld said police don't have a suspect. 

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