BBQ master John Mueller tracks down crook

John Mueller Meat Company sign
A sign and flag sit inside the John Mueller Meat Company in East Austin. (Photo: Kevin Kline / KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Line cutters beware: John Mueller has a particular set of skills. The owner of the John Mueller Meat Company helped police find the burglar who broke into his barbecue food trailer in East Austin. According to an Austin Police Department arrest report, a man broke into the trailer early Monday morning. The thief stole an iPhone, an iPad and a cash register drawer.

Mueller, who started the trailer after leaving the JMueller BBQ, worked with an employee at Kellee’s bar to track down the crook. Investigators said Mueller sent a text message to his stolen phone pretending to be a customer. The text message suggested he was a woman who needed to pay the restaurant for catering work. The crook apparently took the bait. The accused burglar messaged back and forth with Mueller, even sending a photo of himself.

Using that photo, investigators were able to connect the crime to Orlando Ray Vallejo. Monday afternoon, police said Vallejo showed up at the restaurant, apparently thinking he would get more money. Instead officers arrested him. Police then called Mueller’s stolen phone, which officers said rang in Vallejo’s pocket.

Vallejo was charged with burglary of a building. If convicted, he could face up to two years in prison. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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