(photo credit: REUTERS)
Zak Stern was just trying to distribute his regular deliveries of bread this past Thursday in Miami.
But a bank robber stole one of the kosher restaurateur’s “Zak the Baker” vans – while the bread was still inside – and used it in a holdup at a local bank that day.
According to the FBI, the “robber entered the bank, fired a weapon (at least twice), and demanded money from employees. There were customers in the bank, there were no injuries.” The FBI said it would not disclose the amount of money taken during the robbery, but agents told local media it was substantial.
“The robber left the area in a stolen bakery van,” the FBI added in the release. “The van was recovered in the area of 6300 Manor Drive, South Miami, Florida.”
And after the van was recovered, the FBI had to hold on to it for a while, leaving the already-delayed deliveries of Zak the Baker even further behind schedule.
“Who steals a giant white bakery delivery truck to go rob a bank?” Stern, incredulous, posted on Facebook that day.
According to Miami.com, the truck was parked outside a restaurant during a bread delivery on Thursday morning. When the driver emerged from the restaurant, the truck was gone. Stern called his clients to tell them the bread would be delayed, and then called police.
Not only was Stern now down a truck, but he told The Forward that police kept stopping the drivers of his five other identical vans, looking for the criminal, delaying things even further.
As of press time, the FBI had not announced any arrests in the case and the suspect is believed to still be at large.
Stern’s Zak the Baker bakery and newly added deli are among Miami’s most buzzed-about eateries, drawing praise from kosher-keepers and treif-eaters alike.
He opened his bakery in 2014 and the deli this January. Both locations are known for their long lines snaking around the building, their critical acclaim and their dedication to Ashkenazi delicacies. From danishes to rugelach, babka and of course halla on Fridays at the bakery – to kugel, corned beef, lox and herring at the deli – Stern offer goods to a decidedly Eastern European palate with a modern twist.
The baker has said that while he is not observant, he keeps the eateries strictly kosher to honor his roots and his wife, Batsheva, an Orthodox native of the Bat Ayin settlement.