HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The owner of Jadean’s BBQ is looking for answers after an important piece of kitchen equipment was stolen from his restaurant in Henrico County.

Dean Ciejek told 8News that his restaurant’s generator was stolen on Saturday, Jan. 28. The following morning he found that someone had cut the padlock on his food truck and stolen the attached generator.

“Well, as you can see, these are some parts that apparently they had taken off to try to get the chain off and then they figured out it was easier to cut this,” Ciejek said.

After running his mobile kitchen around the metro Richmond area for 11 years, Ciejek opened his brick-and-mortar restaurant in Tuckahoe Village three years ago. Ciejek said he still intended to use the food truck — unfortunately, that is no longer possible with his generator being stolen.

“It’s a big loss, you know, especially when you work as hard as you do. Somebody steal a man’s tools,” he said. “It’s tough.”

With the nearly 500-pound generator gone and no way to operate the mobile side of his business, Ciejek says it’s the community that he has served all these years that are holding him up.

“I talked to one of the ladies that works down the street here in the shopping center, and she said, ‘I saw that you had a generator stolen. And I was walking through my neighborhood and I looked up one of my neighbors’ driveways and saw a big red generator. And I thought of you,’” Ciejek said.

Though Ciejek says he appreciates people keeping a lookout, the generator that person found wasn’t his. When asked if he had any advice for other business owners, Ciejek says they should stay vigilant.

“Making sure everybody else watches what they have because there’s somebody out there taking their tools, or something personally from them, or something out of the garage or worse than that,” he said.

The restaurant owner says he is now offering a $500 reward, hoping that someone will come forward with answers.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Henrico County Police Division at 804-501-5000.