In a span of eight days, a longtime Donelson restaurant co-owner had two of his food trucks stolen out of a lot on Donelson Pike, and the owner felt he was targeted for some reason.
“Two trucks in that length of time, it’s just not normal,” said Music City Gyros co-owner Beshoi Botros. It’s not all about the money; it’s the idea of what you are doing to me.”
The total worth of the 22-by-8-feet trucks is about $125,000.
Music City Gyros, a Greek restaurant in Donelson, opened 17 years ago and served the community a variety of authentic Greek dishes. Botros said two years ago, it expanded into the food truck business. As of July 1, his restaurant had 10 food trucks dispersed throughout the Nashville area and beyond. However, in just more than a week the contingent of money-making, custom-equipped food trucks narrowed to eight.
The first one nabbed was worth $70,000 and disappeared out of the secure lot July 1, right before Botros’ busy July 4 serving time.
“Me and my partner went to the lot to get the truck, and it was gone,” he said. “We had earlier gotten it all ready and went there to pick it up.”
Botros said he was shocked.
“I called all my employees to see if they had moved it anywhere, and none had,” he said. “We looked everywhere.”
The truck was recently updated with the necessary equipment to make the specialized cuisine. On July 8, Botros went to the lot to check on his trucks, and another was gone. Both of the trucks served the Clarksville and Murfreesboro areas.
The lot is on the former Kmart grounds and was used mostly during the COVID-19 pandemic to store trailers.
“It is secure and padlocked,” said Botros. “About 20-30 Greyhound busses were stored there during the COVID time. It’s a trusted area.”
Betros said the thieves cut through locks, and they found a bottle of acetone he thinks was used to wipe away any fingerprints. And while there are some surveillance videos of the trucks rolling out onto the nearby streets, the trucks are still at large.
“It’s definitely some sort of target to do it twice so close together,” he said. “I started with one truck two years ago and am up to 10. We get such a lot of social media from a lot of people in the area raving about our food. We’ve been so successful. Maybe someone wanted to set me back somehow.”
The restaurant owner said the loss of the two trucks was a big setback. He has insurance, but that takes time. He has to pay rent for the spaces he’d use the trucks for the next four months.
“I really can’t use the other trucks in these two locations, because they have different layouts and were customized,” said Betros.
He filed a police report, but nothing has shown up related to the crimes. He said he just emerged off the heels of the pandemic, and things were looking up. He just hopes the community will continue to support his business.
Music City Gyros is well known for its outreach via food distribution when needed.
“We never let the homeless go hungry near our Broadway and Church Street locations,” Botros said.
The owners also are generous with sharing food with city employees, first responders and schools.
“I’m just so upset,” Botros said. “We have had leads from some of our customers who have spotted a truck going to Memphis. But nothing came out of it.”
While hopeful, the business owner said history shows food trucks can be spray-painted and disguised.
Anyone who has any information about the missing food trucks is asked to call Metro Nashville police at 615-8622-8600.