A sirloin pilfered from a supermarket is a pretty regular occurrence, but the theft of $50,000 worth of specialty meat tends to raise eyebrows. 

That's the upper estimate on the amount taken from a small distribution business in northeast Calgary over the weekend, something police say is unusual. 

"I try and be as trustworthy as possible and it hurts to take a shot like this," said Andrew Denhamer, owner of The Fine Food Stop.

Andrew Denhamer

Fine Food Stop owner Andrew Denhamer says a thief or thieves clipped the lock on this freezer truck where he stores his inventory and made off with about 40 per cent of the specialty meats. (Natasha Frakes/CBC)

40 per cent of inventory

He's been storing his frozen products in a rented freezer truck and arrived to find the lock clipped and the truck strewn with boxes and meat rejected by the thief, or thieves. 

He doesn't think the theft was random. 

"We suspect it was someone that knew what we did," he said. "The products were so specific and they were only taking the higher valued items. There was a lot of leftover beef shank, beef bones, chicken bones that weren't touched."

Denhamer said about 40 per cent of his frozen inventory is gone.

Restaurant trade

Many of the specialty meats, like duck leg, were destined for fine dining restaurants, but Mark von Shellwitz, the Western Canada vice-president for Restaurants Canada, believes it is unlikely the stolen meat will end up in a restaurant.

"Restaurateurs are very cautious about where their food supply comes from and want to make sure it's not tainted, and most of them have very good relationships with their meat suppliers," he said.  

"So I think they would find it suspicious if someone was trying to sell them some meat that wasn't an accredited supplier."

Denhamer is confident if someone tries to sell the products within Calgary, he will hear about it.

In the meantime, the loss will be covered by insurance.

With files from Natasha Frakes