Wildwich’s Wild Ride

Wildwich Food Truck IN Wilmington

This post appears courtesy of New Market Wilm, who features a new blog about Downtown Wilmington each and every Wednesday! View the original post here

Friday morning, May 4, and the Facebooks and Twitters and Instagrams of Wilmington are buzzing with the news:

  • “Word on the street is the Wildwich truck got stolen last night.”

  • “OMG!”

  • “What? I mean … it’s gonna be easy to find, right? It’s not like it blends in.”

  • “Apparently it is currently up in Philly. Someone posted a pic.”

  • “This is definitely going to end up on a show featuring the dumbest criminals.”

If you’re one of the many who enjoys a tasty Saigon sandwich (with hickory smoked salmon, Serrano aioli, pickled daikon and carrot) or the classic Wingman (buffalo chicken salad, lettuce, red onion and crumbled blue cheese) at the Downtown Farmers Market in Rodney Square on Wednesdays, you know this story has a happy ending. But we went back to the beginning with owner Mike Stanley:

“It was 8 a.m. that Friday morning. I came out of my cafe to go park my car, and just because of way the streets go, I have to loop around the parking lot where the truck is parked. And the truck’s not there.”

“At first I thought maybe my manager already grabbed it and I just didn’t notice. But then I saw broken glass where the truck was.”

“So I called the 911. You know, the guy there asked me for the license plate number. I was walking back to the cafe at that point, so it wasn’t in front of me. He told me that he couldn’t put an APB through until we had the license plate number. I’m like, dude, the whole truck is a license plate. It’s got my name on all four sides of it in very unique colors. You cannot miss it. OK, I didn’t actually say that, but when we got the truck back, we realized — they changed the license plate. I guess trying to be inconspicuous? I have no idea.”

“The police later told me an eyewitness had called and said they saw three guys on bikes break into the truck and then drive away with it around 6am. I guess they came across my spare keys hidden in the back. I used to have an employee who would forget his keys and end up stranded somewhere, so we had an emergency set, just in case. They got used three or four times a year. They came in handy. Not any more.”

“So I called my social media guru who does my website and told her what happened. I figured she would put something out there. Then, a girl up in Philadelphia was handed a free t-shirt by two guys in a food truck and she took a selfie with them, and they both gave thumbs up and smiled. That’s the famous picture that everyone’s seen now. And she tagged #wildwich in it. So my social media guru saw it immediately. An hour after that, someone else got in touch with us and said they were calling for the guys in the truck, that they had bought the truck and did not know it was stolen, and wanted to return it and not get in trouble.”

“So they returned the truck around 2pm. They sent us a message on social media that it was over by the YMCA on Walnut. Which it was, and of course, we were in touch with the police. The guys who had it had taken some of my business cards, used a sharpie to scratch out my number on one side and on the other side wrote their name and phone number, and they left a couple of those on the truck. I’m sure that will help.”

“I had an interview with the police about a week and a half ago. I think they’ve got it figured out. And we have every intention of sticking to our guns. The last thing I want is for people to suddenly feel like stealing a Wilmington food truck is a rite of passage. So we’re going to absolutely do everything we can do to deter that.”

“But we had the truck back out there that same night. It wasn’t in the best condition, but we got it cleaned up. They returned it around 2pm, I had it back to the cafe a little before 3pm, and we were parked at the Blue Ball Barn by 5pm, ready for business.”

Check out the infamous social media photo and read more at 6abc news.