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Renowned Roseville Taqueria Nixtaco Hit by Crook Caught On Surveillance Camera

ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — A popular Roseville taqueria recently named by SFGate as serving the best tacos in all of Northern California has been targeted by a thief.

Only this thief wasn't after a meal, he was hungry for some quick cash. A surveillance camera captured him stealing the restaurant's expensive smoker, and he left a social media trail for everyone to see.

Nixtaco owner Patricio Wise posted pictures from the surveillance video online.

"You feel kind of violated like, 'Yeah, you're taking it and now you have it, and there's nothing we can do about it,' " Wise said.

Within 10 minutes of his post, Wise got a text from a fellow chef, who spotted the smoker for sale on Facebook Marketplace. The seller was a person whose Facebook profile photo looks just like the suspect caught on camera.

"I thought someone was going to call the cops and say 'I know this guy,' but no, he actually posted the item for sale," Wise said.

The seller's Facebook page shows he cares for two children.

"I'm thinking here, 'Dude, you're about to throw all that away over 400 bucks,' I mean you don't even know what it's worth, apparently. It's just a bad situation to be in that's all," Wise said.

Roseville police tried to set up a sting to catch the crook.

"He never responded and then he marked the item as sold, he was selling it for $400, so I'm pretty sure it moved like that," Wise said.

Roseville police spokesperson Rob Baquera says investigators are still trying to track the stolen property down, and they are using the Facebook Marketplace post as a big clue.

"We want to make that connection, but of course we want to make adamantly sure we are running down the right track," Baquera said.

In September, Nixtaco was named by as serving the best tacos in all of Northern California — an accolade attracting lots of attention from food lovers, and at least in this instance, one social-media-sharing criminal.

"You post the wrong thing, you're in deep trouble. Evidently, this guy did, so, it spreads very quickly," Wise said. "Once you post it it's never coming down."

Wise says that smoker has some very unique qualities that allowed them to identify it as theirs.

If caught, the suspect will be facing a felony grand theft charge.

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