Updated:LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. —
Police say two storage warehouse workers stole $65,000 worth of chicken wings.
Gwinnett County police investigators said they believe Dewayne Patterson and Renaldo Jackson used a rental truck on Jan. 12 and took 10 pallets of frozen wings from Nordic Cold Storage.
The theft comes at a time when demand and prices for chicken wings are at the highest.
Ed Cooper owns the Wing Shop restaurant in Lawrenceville. He said the Super Bowl is the busiest time of year for him and he is encouraging customers to pre-order for the big game, with overall wing supply in the US limited this year compared to last.
One percent fewer chickens were produced this year after last year’s drought drove up feed and corn prices, according to the National Chicken Council.
Cooper said customers should not worry about the shortage if they’re purchasing their wings from a big franchise like his.
“Not at Wing Stop. We have our wings locked in for the year and that’s because we are a national franchise. Smaller mom-and-pop stores have to do their homework. They have to hunt around for wings,” Cooper said.
That hunt can mean higher prices. Nationally, they’re up 14 percent.
Cooper said prices did not drop after last year’s Super Bowl like they have in years past.
“About three months after the Super Bowl, we saw that there was no drop and we had to unfortunately increase our prices,” Cooper said.
Cooper said he has placed orders with two different suppliers to fill his fridge and make sure he is ready for Sunday.