Less than a week after the owners of MOMOlicious reported that their food truck had been stolen in plain sight, police say the truck has been recovered under a freeway overpass.
Oakland police located the MOMOlicious food truck wedged under an Interstate 880 overpass in West Oakland near a homeless encampment, according to KTVU.
“When I went inside, I was so emotional,” co-owner Sudeep Khatiwada told KTVU. “I almost cried seeing what they did to the inside.”
The ransacked vehicle was discovered just 2.5 miles from Emeryville where it was stolen, with fresh graffiti marks and without doors, seats or an engine. Additionally, because the food truck was wedged so tightly beneath the overpass, tow truck operators were required to remove its tires to extract the vehicle.
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According to KTVU, Oakland police searched the area where the vehicle was found but couldn’t find a suspect. Surveillance cameras were unable to capture the theft in Emeryville.
Last Wednesday, Khatiwada and co-owner Anup Bajracharya told the East Bay Times that their Nepalese food truck had been stolen from a lot in Emeryville at 63rd Street and Overland Avenue when they were inside a commissary kitchen.
Because the truck had been previously jump-started that day, the owners left the vehicle’s engine running with the keys inside. The vehicle had been parked for about 30 minutes before it was discovered missing.
Initially, the owners believed that they had been pranked, but once they processed the news, they were left dumbfounded.
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“I couldn’t believe it,” Khatiwada told the East Bay Times. “Who would want to do such a thing? We are good with everyone.”
Now recovered, the owners believe that the damages will set them back tens of thousands of dollars to repair. They estimate the food truck to be valued at $100,000 with all the special gear, which included steamers from Nepal that were used to prepare dumplings.
“This time was already tough for us due to COVID-19,” Khatiwada told KTVU. “This disaster has set us back, way back.”
MOMOlicious has another food truck it can use while the stolen one is restored.
Susana Guerrero is an SFGATE digital reporter. Email: Susana.Guerrero@sfgate.com | Twitter: @SusyGuerrero3
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