Orange County meal prep business owner and daughter disables alleged thief with a table

  • Chef Carol Garnier and her daughter Mary Dao successfully thwarted a man who allegedly tried to steal from their meal prep business in Westminster, California, on Sunday.
  • Surveillance video obtained by ABC7 News shows the moment the alleged thief entered Prepped With Love and headed straight for their fridges.
  • The mother-and-daughter duo are seen springing into action, pulling a large table to corner the man and preventing him from advancing behind the counter.
  • Police reportedly described the man as a known transient.

A chef and her daughter running a meal prep business in Westminster, California, successfully thwarted an alleged thief with a large table on Sunday.

Chef Carol Garnier, who owns Prepped With Love at 14250 Beach Boulevard, said the man entered their business at around 7:45 p.m., just after the last customer left.

Surveillance video obtained by ABC7 News anchor Dion Lim shows the moment the suspected perp came in and headed for their fridges. Mary Dao, Garnier’s daughter, quickly barricaded the fridge with the nearest table.

“I don’t even know how I knew how to grab that table and push it against him, but it’s just all of the adrenaline, I just did what I had to do,” Dao told ABC7 News. “I needed to protect the food and get him out of here.”


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Garnier, who appeared to be coming from the kitchen, sprang into action to help her daughter. She said she did not want the man to get behind the counter where knives are kept.

“If you just ask, I am more than happy to make you something to eat, but the fact he didn’t say anything,” Garnier told ABC7 News. “He just came in and just aggressively tried to steal our food is what got me.”

Garnier described herself as a “Mama Bear” who had to protect her daughter and her property. She stressed that they had been making food all day, and the meals the man tried to steal had already been paid for.

The video also shows the man throwing an object at Dao. That object turned out to be a beer can, but luckily she was not injured.

Westminster police are looking for the alleged thief. They reportedly described him as a known transient.

Featured Image via Dion Lim

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