Owner of Sacramento Coffee Houses Admits to Driving Off with Midtown Cafe’s Sign

Update: Old Soul Co. announced on Facebook Saturday morning that their property had been returned.

MIDTOWN SACRAMENTO -- It seems a certain kind of bitterness may have seeped into Sacramento's coffee scene Friday with the theft of a sign from Old Soul at the Weatherstone in midtown Sacramento.

Around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, a witness captured a picture of a person driving away with a 4-foot, A-frame sign in a white Porsche with the vanity plate "MFW INC."

"A little violated," said Old Soul owner Jason Griest as he described his feelings about what happened.

That's not a feeling Griest would ever normally associate with the businesses he's been brewing around Sacramento for 11 years.

"So I am blessed as a person. I have the community of Sacramento," Griest told FOX40. "I have the community of my awesome employees. I have the community of fellow coffee companies that we all get along."

It appears the thief who took the sign is a coffee roasting rival.

"I've done research a little bit on who could that license plate be," he said.

After checking records with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, FOX40 discovered the plates on the Porsche were registered to My Friend William, Inc.

The owner of My Friend William, Inc., which operates the Naked Lounge and Tupelo brands, did not want to speak on camera when FOX40 called him Friday night. He said he would be available for that next week, but when asked he did confirm that the white Porsche was his car.

He also repeatedly answered that he stole the sign, never offering a reason.

Old Soul complained about the lack of response from Sacramento police in the case, not because of their $100 sign, but because of something else the witness to the theft observed. They reported that the thief seemed drunk, stumbling around as he grabbed the sign and jumped back into his Porsche. The witness and Old Soul's owners were concerned about a drunk driver being on the streets.

Late Friday officers called Griest and assigned a police report number to the complaint they originally submitted online.