By Jon Silman | Miami Herald
The owner of the Rolling Stove food truck, Troy Thomas, knew something was wrong when it didn’t show up for work at the Seminole Casino on Saturday. In addition to calling the police, he went to something he’s used for advertising over and over again — social networks.
A message hit Facebook at 3:51 p.m. “This is not a joke!!! The rolling stove was stolen today! If anyone has seen it please let me know.”
Thomas was on Twitter at 4:12 p.m. with a similar message. The response was instantaneous. People reposted the message all over the Internet. At 5:06 p.m. BTTR Miami Food Truck Events on Facebook posted it, and 10 minutes later Rolling Cigars reposted it. People flooded the page with messages and by the end of the night The Rolling Stove was a trending topic on Twitter, according to TrendsMiami, a twitter user that shows real-time Miami Twitter trends.
“It’s amazing how the Facebook and Twitter people rallied together,” Thomas said on Saturday night.
The truck has been rolling for about a year and a half, according to Thomas, and he started the business to “get my food out to the people.” He has three employees — well two now, and that’s where the story ends and begins.
When the truck was found, he posted this mysterious message on Facebook at 6:29 p.m.: “The rolling stove has been found!! No damage just a very sad story:(. Thanks to all!!”
So what happened?
According to Thomas, it was a slow night Friday night and one of his employees wanted to go out and party. He did, and he took another Rolling Stove employee with him. They got rowdy, and employee number one got into a fight. A nasty fight. Both people walked away, but one of them, according to Thomas, didn’t wake up Saturday morning.
Employee number one was setting up the food truck Saturday when he got a call from employee number two telling him the police were looking for him. He panicked. He stopped what he was doing in the truck, started it up, and fled.
“You could see exactly where he stopped working,” Thomas said.
Employee two called Thomas, asking where the truck was because he was late that day, and he didn’t know that he just spooked employee one into driving off with it. They met at the casino, and when the truck didn’t show, employee two told Thomas the real situation. Thomas had only recently granted employee number one the ability to drive the truck.
“I’m more hurt than anything,” Thomas said, “I feel bad for him he’s a good kid.”
Employee one just drove around and eventually ditched the truck around Restaurant Depot on Northwest 12th Avenue in Miami. He was picked up by police around 6 p.m.
When the truck was found, Facebook and Twitter were abuzz with congratulations. Thomas said the truck was tucked away safely for the weekend, and he left this message on Twitter at 8:13 p.m.:
“To all concerned the stove is home and ok we will roll again Monday.”