Frenchies Poutinerie in downtown Kamloops had to close early on Tuesday — but for a very good reason.
Owner Élie Hana was on his way to Barriere, where Mounties had recovered his distinctive food trailer, which was stolen from his South Kamloops home on July 30.
The company posted an update on its Facebook page on Tuesday evening, announcing the trailer had been found on a property near Barriere, which is about 45 minutes north of Kamloops on Highway 5.
“Thanks to Barriere RCMP and an awesome resident for finding our trailer hidden on a property just before Barrier,” the company said in a 7:25 p.m. post, noting the trailer is at the Barriere RCMP detachment, undergoing a forensic examination.
Frenchies staff said police indicated the trailer is not damaged beyond repair.
The customized food trailer was stolen from the area of Pine Street and Sixth Avenue some time between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. on July 30. A lock over the trailer’s hitch appeared to have been cut off.
The theft occurred just as Frenchies staff were prepping the trailer for use at the following weekend’s Rockin’ River Music Festival in Merritt, with 300 boxes of potatoes being purchased. It was to have been the single-largest event at which the trailer would be used.
Frenchies has had the trailer for at least 18 months and its value is estimated to be in the six figures.
The trailer is adorned with a photo of poutine and the company logo. It has an awning over the trailer door and window and a deep fryer vat on the roof.
Initial reports indicated the trailer may have been spotted days later near Salmo, a small town in the Kootenays, but those sightings turned out to be that of a different food truck and trailer that operates in the region — the La Poutinery.
Another tip suggested the trailer may have been taken to the Lower Mainland.