IT’s a guilty pleasure that for many is the ideal way to end a night on the town. But for these bungling burglers a late-night trip to the kebab shop has landed them in a whole lot of trouble, after they were caught on camera robbing a takeaway.
Ignoring the expensive computer equipment – and a till full of cash – the ravenous raiders instead went straight for the meat, carrying out a 70lb frozen doner.
And any chance of a quick get- away was scuppered after one of the thieves dropped the frozen loot on his foot.
CCTV footage at the Kebab Mahal on Dalkeith High Street captures the two criminals stealing the food at around 1.45am on Friday morning.
One of the thieves managed to slip through a tiny window to get inside the takeway before passing the meat to his friend outside.
As well as the frozen doner meat, they took raw shish kebabs, samosas, and a 10kg container of raw marinated chicken.
Owner Azher Rashid, 37, described the scene as “like something out of America’s Dumbest Criminals”, and said: “I got a phone call from my brother to say he thought we had been broken into because some of the pizza trays were out of place.
“The kebab machine had been moved and shish kebabs had gone missing.
“Initially, that’s all we thought had been taken but when we checked the CCTV, we found out they had stolen the doner meat and the chicken – they didn’t even stop at the computers or at the till.”
Mr Rashid described the culprits, who he believes had been drinking, as in their mid-20s, of medium build, and one wearing a black top and the other a green hoodie.
“I wouldn’t have thought anybody would have been able to fit through that window,” he said. “And the doner meat weighs a lot – it takes a couple of us to safely get it out of the freezer.
“On the CCTV, you see one of them pushing the meat through the window and the other boy grabbing it, before it disappears – the next thing you see is the guy outside jumping about in agony.”
The pair are then seen walking off, with the uninjured thief carrying the kebab meat on his shoulder.
Mr Rashid has been the owner of Kebab Mahal since 2003 and said the takeaway, which recently won Best Place for a Takeaway at the Midlothian Food and Drink awards, has never before been targeted by criminals.
“They were a bit dumb, to be honest, it was like something you would see on that TV programme, America’s Dumbest Criminals. Within a few hours, the doner would have defrosted and they wouldn’t have had anything to cook it with. Most likely, they have dumped it.”
A police spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police are investigating following a break-in and theft from a takeaway store in Midlothian.
“Approximately £100 worth of foodstuffs were taken during the incident in the early hours of Friday, June 15. Anyone who remembers seeing anything suspicious in or around the shop is asked to contact police immediately.”