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Moped Stolen From Food Network Star and Bed-Stuy Restaurateur

By Paul DeBenedetto | September 13, 2013 8:21am
 The moped was stolen from the parking lot of the chef's building.
Food Network Star Justin Warner Says His moped was stolen in Bed-Stuy
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BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The decked-out moped of a Food Network star who owns a popular Bed-Stuy restaurant was stolen from his building's gated parking lot on Sunday, the restaurateur said.

Justin Warner — who won the eighth season of "Food Network Star," hosted the Food Network special "Rebel Eats" and owns the restaurant Do or Dine at 1108 Bedford Ave. — said the red, white and blue bike was taken from outside his home around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The bike, which had been painted blue by a previous owner and decorated with red and white flourishes by Warner, was something the chef said was instantly recognizable throughout the neighborhood, and was surprised someone would take it.

"I just thought it was like, 'That's Justin's moped,' no one's going to touch it," Warner said. "This thing sticks out like a sore thumb. And it's loud."

According to Warner, security footage shows two kids, whom he described as "13 or 14" years old, walking into the parking lot and taking the bike.

The gate was open, and the two kids pushed the bike out, Warner said.

"I guarantee they don't even know how to ride it or start it," Warner said. "They'll have to ask an adult."

The NYPD did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Warner first got the 1978 Lazer Sport 50 about eight months ago from a producer at Food Network Star, who no longer had use for it. 

After putting work into it — adding a white leather seat, red and white fixtures, new mirrors shaped like hands making the "peace" sign and a Captain America hood ornament — the business owner estimated that the bike could be worth as much as $1,300.

But, he said, the bike had much more sentimental value. He jokingly likened the incident to the 2011 heist of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" host Guy Fieri's Lamborghini.

"What is Guy Fieri without his Lamborghini?" Warner cracked. "What is Justin Warner without his moped?"

As of now the Do or Dine owner said he's just looking for someone to return the bike, and doesn't necessarily want any serious punishment brought upon the thieves who took it.

"If I just get it back it would make my day, but I don't think it has to be swift justice served up for 13-year-old bike thieves," Warner said. "I think they just saw a shiny object and took it."