Stolen food truck recovered by Oakland police, but key equipment missing

A small business owner is counting her blessings after her stolen food truck was recovered by Oakland police.

Cooking is her passion, but the kitchen is closed, after thieves took off with the Miss Chiles Mexican food truck Sunday in downtown Oakland.

"Oh my God they stole my truck," Enya Sandoval told KTVU.

Five days later, Oakland police tracked down the missing truck near the Oakland Coliseum Thursday night.

"It’s not running, so it’s not drivable," Sandoval said.

The truck was parked Friday night, and it wasn’t exactly in one piece.

"They took the salad bar," Sandoval said.

Several key pieces of equipment were missing, including the generator.

"I was really sad because you know, it’s all my savings that I put into it," Sandoval said.

Sandoval, a trans woman, bought the truck in April, a couple of years after completing her transition.

She says she was finally ready to put her new life into gear.

"It was like having all of that gone in just one second."

The reality is, she’s not alone.

According to Oakland police, nearly 11,000 vehicles were stolen in the city as of September 2023.

That’s an average of more than 40 cars a day.

"I’m happy that I have it back," Sandoval said.

What really blew her away was the community of customers she’s grown, pulling together to raise money with a GoFundMe to get her back in business.

"And seriously, I see life from a different perspective now," Sandoval said.

By Friday night, the GoFundMe has raised nearly $10,000.

She now has a tracking device in the truck.

She’s hoping to get it fixed soon, so she can get back to cooking homemade Mexican food within the next couple of weeks.