A food truck worker has been shot in Oakland after looters targeted the business
OAKLAND — A food truck worker was shot after driving his car to chase the men who robbed him and his wife.
It happened in the Fruitvale area of Oakland on Friday night. Two gunmen robbed the Tamales Mi Lupita food truck located at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and 34th Street. Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain once featured Tamales Mi Lupita on his show, saying it was his favorite food truck in Oakland.
The victims, Lucila Picado and her husband, said they were working shortly before 6 p.m. when two men broke into the truck and demanded money.
“I was afraid and terrified. My head was down. They were pointing their weapons at me from behind,” Picado described through a Spanish translator.
Picado said the gunmen were carrying a rifle and a pistol. She said they took the money and beat her husband repeatedly.
“They started to feel frustrated or angry because there wasn’t enough money, because the landlord would come in more often and take the money,” Picado said.
She said her husband and 16-year-old son took a car to chase the thieves and try to write down the license plate number. About a half-mile from the food truck in the 3200 block of Davis Street, she said the gunmen fired at least 15 shots from their moving vehicle.
One of the bullets went through the windshield and hit her husband in the shoulder. Doctors at Highland Hospital told them that removing the bullet could be more dangerous. And so the bullet remains in his shoulder.
“When I see my husband, I feel sad because there is something inside him that I know is hurting him,” Picado said. “And we can’t do anything about it.”
She and her husband were also frustrated by frequent robberies and burglaries targeting Hispanic small businesses on Foothill Street in the Fruitvale area.
Oakland Police recently announced they would deploy foot patrols and increase law enforcement presence in the area.
Police said they responded to 3,219 burglaries across the city from the beginning of the year through November 12. She said that theft rates increased by 35 percent compared to the same period last year.
“I get it, we’re very frustrated with everything that’s happening in the Fruitvale area. Trust me, it hurts all of us as a community,” said Fruitvale owner Dominic Prado.
Prado reminded people to be good witnesses.
“It’s not worth chasing. It’s not worth fighting because it’s not worth losing your life. You can exchange money,” Prado said.
Picado said her home country is safer than East Oakland.
“I am shocked,” Picado said. “This is mainly because I only have three months left (in this country). If I have the opportunity to return to Nicaragua, I will do so.”
Picado and her husband returned to work on Sunday. Her husband said he was dealing with his pain.
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