WEST ASHLEY SC (WCSC) - Deputies say an attempt to pawn a cooker stolen from a well-known Charleston caterer failed because a pawn shop employee recognized the cooker from news reports.
The employee then called authorities to report the attempt, according to Charleston County Sheriff's Maj. Eric Watson.
The cooker, which belongs to Jamie Westendorff, who owns and operates Charleston Outdoor Catering, was recovered Wednesday night shortly before 10 p.m. in Georgetown. It is valued at $6,000, officials said.
No arrests were made in the case, Watson said, because Westendorff, who owns and operates Charleston Outdoor Catering, did not wish to prosecute.
For more than 35 years, Westendorff has cooked and grilled for charities like Ronald McDonald house, Camp Happy Days, the American Red Cross and more. The cooker was reported stolen on Tuesday.
When you step inside his shop, you see just how much he helps the community.
"That was a camp in Rankin, Georgia," said Westendorff, pointing to pictures that cover his walls. "That was a coalition for people with special disabilities."
While Westendorff earns his money catering events, he does most of his events for free.
"I'd say 400 or 500 parties a year for free," said Westendorff.
When people need help, Westendorff provides more than just his cooking and grilling abilities. He often provides the meat.
"Sometimes they don't pay for anything," said Westendorff. "Or, they pay what they can pay."
During Hurricane Hugo, he cooked.
"I set up in Marion Square," said Westendorff. "We fed 50,000 people in 10 days."