Don't Mess with Mueller

John Mueller the bandit catcher: Pitmaster's wacky scheme leads to thief's arrest

John Mueller the bandit catcher: Pitmaster aids APD in thief's arrest

Why hasn't anyone given John Mueller his own reality television show yet? The pitmaster, arguably as famous for feuding with his family as he is for incredible barbecue, can now add "crime solver" to his resume.

As first reported in the Austin American-Statesman, Mueller was burglarized on Monday, August 11 after someone picked a padlock off of the John Mueller Meat Co. trailer on East Sixth Street.

In the robbery, the thief allegedly took an iPhone, iPad and a cash drawer. Little did the caper know, they were messing with the wrong meat man. Together with a bartender at Kellee's Place (which shares a lot with the barbecue trailer), Mueller crafted a scheme to lure the thief back to the scene of the crime. And it worked.

The duo sent a text message to the stolen iPhone implying that they were a customer and wanted to buy some of Mueller's famous barbecue. The thief took the bait and replied to the text message with his real name, a photo of his face and a picture of his genitals. (It remains unclear what the man's genitals have to do with barbecue.)

The alleged thief, who Austin Police identified as Orlando Ray Vallejo, returned to the John Mueller Meat Co. trailer less than 12 hours after the robbery to pick up what he thought was a wad of cash. Instead of meeting a potential customer, however, Vallejo met a few members of the Austin Police Department. He was arrested and charged with burglary.

Seriously, let's give Mueller a show.

Austin Photo Set: News_Adam Sparks_John Mueller BBQ_jan 2012_john2
John Mueller: Good at barbecue and catching thieves. Photo by Adam Sparks