EMERYVILLE, Calif. - It’s a major setback for a small business struggling to survive. The owners of Momolicious food truck said their truck was stolen Wednesday night from a private lot in Emeryville.
They were set to start business on Friday for the first time since March. Started by two immigrants in 2017, the business on wheels offered a taste of Nepal.
“I couldn't believe this, that this happened,” said Co-Owner Sudeep Khatiwada. “It was like, is this real.”
Around 7 p.m. Khatiwada and his partner, Anup Bajracharya parked their truck in a private lot in Emeryville. They were inside the building’s kitchen for 30 minutes when someone, they said, likely came in through the truck’s unlocked back door and drove off with it.
“I was surprised,” said Bajracharya. “I thought somebody was playing a prank on us.”
Since the food truck had not been in use, the battery had died. After jump starting the truck, they left it running with keys in the ignition.
The truck was customized and equipped with specialized equipment, valued at $100,000. It also had sentimental value.
“We are so attached to this truck,” said Khatiwada. “It’s like our baby. We care about it so much.”
“In my 12 years, I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Francisco Machada, owner of Nine Catering Services.
Nine Catering Services owns the lot with 24-hour security. The lot owner suspects a sophisticated motive for the crime.
“The generators of these vehicles are coveted, easy to remove and sell in the black market,” said Machado. “A super quiet Honda generator is going to cost about $6,000.”
The truck is the first of two, the other permitted for use in San Francisco and in the process of getting permits post-Covid.
Their business made popular after Steph Curry featured it on YouTube. The owners aren’t sure if the business will survive now.
“Who would even want to take the whole business out of somebody's hands,” said Khatiwada.
They are hoping surveillance footage from the lot will provide clues as to who took it. The big red truck, 24’ long and 10’ tall, is not hard to miss. They are asking everyone to be on the lookout and if they spot it, call Emeryville Police.