CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46) - Marco Brito knows his way around Pig Pickin' but on Monday, it's thieves doing the picking by taking his smoker right from his driveway.
"It was heartbreaking, took the soul right out of me that morning," Brito said.
Brito bought a customized smoker that cost close to $13,000.00 but for him it's worth more than that.
"Many years of blood, sweat and tears," Brito said.
If it can get worse, he only owned it for three weeks before it was taken.
"I was going to wash it and get it ready for another practice run with it this weekend for another cook off in a couple of weeks and it was gone on Monday," Brito said.
After filing a report with CMPD, Brito took to Facebook asking people to call him if they see his smoker
The barbecue community sharing his post almost 3,000 times and the leads started coming in.
"He specifically said I recognized the emblem and your custom wheels that you had on them, 'I said wow' and then 7 hours later I got another text message, ‘I just seen it in the mall area,’ so he's on I-485 from Concord to Pineville area," Brito said.
Brito was planning to start his own business with the smoker but barbecuing isn't just a job for him.
"The barbecue community is not just for ourselves. We do fundraisers, for my son's football team, for churches and stuff. It's not just for me. I love doing it because I grew up doing it," Brito said.
He hopes the thieves grow a conscience and return it before it’s too late.
"I’d appreciate if you return it. If you don't, I can't stop what my friends do to you and you might end up in the smoker, I'm just saying," Brito said.