There ought to exist a code among thieves stating that a place as charming and modest as the Saltbox Seafood Joint—a 200-square-foot pescatarian paradise on Durham’s North Mangum Street—is off-limits. No looting, no stealing, no lifting.

Alas, we do not live in such a world. Last Wednesday morning, Saltbox owner Ricky Moore arrived to find that his hut had been thoroughly burglarized.

“I came in at 8:30 a.m., and the shed in the back was open. A window was broken. They’d taken a Honda generator, which was top-of-the-line,” Moore tells the INDY. “They also took a four-by-two-foot cooler of seafood—shucked oysters, jumping striped mullet, sea trout, monkfish. They took it all.”

Moore estimates the damages and losses total around $4,000. There was also a sentimental casualty: an orange life ring he’d had hanging up since the restaurant opened three years ago. It’s the first major incident he’s had at the location. Police are looking into the burglary, he said, but there’s no word yet on the culprit.

“I think it was just a random deal,” Moore says. “It’s a good neighborhood over here—not a treacherous environment or anything. And all is well: We opened for business that same day, and I’ve made some adjustments in terms of security to try to prevent anybody from trying this again. It is what it is.”