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Thieves tagged in after-hours sausage theft

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NOTE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed Jacob Smith’s age.

LEAVENWORTH — Take 36 German sausages, 10 pounds of steak, 20 portions of fish, four blocks of cheese, four loaves of bread, one container of jalapeño peppers and a single bag of chips, and what have you got? A recipe for a felony.

Two Leavenworth-area men are charged with second-degree burglary after they were allegedly caught on video making off with $1,000 worth of foodstuffs from a local restaurant. Jacob Gene Smith, 25, of rural Plain and George E. Conner, 32, of Coles Corner were both summoned to Chelan County Superior Court on Wednesday — 2-1/2 months after they allegedly stole the goods through the rear kitchen door of Kristall’s Restaurant, 280 Highway 2 in Leavenworth.

Kristall’s staff told sheriff’s deputies they discovered the two men in the kitchen area about 10 p.m. Feb. 20, an hour after the restaurant had closed to customers. Deputies said the two men had been drinking in the lounge prior to closing, and the employees believed they had left after last call.

A security video purportedly shows Smith and Conner entering the kitchen about 9:45 p.m. and exiting with armloads of food, making multiple trips over the next 10 minutes until restaurant staff discovered them. Kristall’s managers said they didn’t realize the extent of the theft until the following day. The value of the lost food was estimated at $1,018.

Deputies said Conner called their office the day after the burglary, saying he’d “blacked out” the night before and didn’t recall committing a crime.