Updated, 3/30/2016, 11:17 a.m.: A Go Fund Me page has been started to help the victimized family raise money for a down payment on a replacement food trailer.
Business owner Cynthia Gonzales is devastated after the taco trailer that represented her and her family’s entire livelihood was stolen around 4 a.m on March 28.
The Los Dos Vaqueros taco truck was where it is normally parked, at the Star Food at 1234 Sheldon in Channelview. The theft was first discovered by a cook who reported to work just before 5 a.m.
Gonzales cried as we interviewed her by phone, saying that the truck employed not only her, but her sister and brother as well. Additionally, Gonzales has several family members at home who depend on income from the truck.
Worse, Gonzales said an aunt gave her what was her life savings, the product of 17 years worth of work, in order for her to put a down payment on the food trailer. The taco trailer cost $25,000. Gonzales had only been in business for a year and said she has been able to pay off only $8,000 of the debt so far. There was no insurance on the vehicle. “It’s really expensive to get something like this going," she said. "We are living on this. This is our lives. Our whole family depended on that,” she said.
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Gonzales said a surveillance camera was able to catch part of the theft on video, but she has heard nothing from police since reporting the crime. She was hoping to rent another food truck or trailer while the search is on for the Los Dos Vaqueros trailer, but said that nothing she’s seen so far is ready to operate.
Even if the Los Dos Vaqueros trailer is recovered, Gonzales expects it will be found empty. “Even if [the police] find it, they’re just going to find the outside. Everything inside — that’s what they want,” she said tearfully.
The longer Gonzales is without a trailer to cook on, the higher the chance that she’ll have to start her business over from a worse position than when she started. “Our workers cannot be without work for more than a week,” she said. “I still owe on that truck. I am desperate for some solution and I can’t find it. I went all the way. All my efforts are gone with that trailer. It’s hard to think you have to start all over from zero. I am not going to ask my family for more help after all they’ve done for me.”
Anyone who has information on the theft should call the Harris County Sheriff’s Department at 713-221-6000 and ask for officer Ornelas.