Stolen food truck trailer recovered in Oakland after thief seen on video hauling it off

A food truck trailer that was stolen on Christmas Eve was found abandoned and damaged Tuesday near an Oakland homeless encampment.

"I'm grateful and thankful I was able to retrieve the truck back," said restaurateur Eric Scott, who owns Touch of Soul restaurant in Emeryville.

Scott said tips on Instagram led him to a homeless encampment near High Street and Interstate 880 in East Oakland. But his propane tank, generator and other items inside the trailer were gone.

Scott said there is a larger issue at play.

"The crime in Oakland, and the crime everywhere, has gotten really bad," he said.

Scott had hoped to use the trailer to feed unhoused residents for Christmas. He said there is no evidence that unhoused residents stole his truck.


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"I can't really just blame it on the homeless just because it was found at a homeless camp. Anybody could have just dropped it off over there," he said.

The theft happened in the parking lot of a market at 59th Street and San Pablo Avenue in North Oakland.

Surveillance video showed someone in a white Jeep Cherokee hooking up the trailer early in the morning on Christmas Eve. Within moments, the thief drives off with the trailer, worth about $80,000.

Regular customers of the market were upset by the theft.

"This is a travesty, that somebody that's going to try to do good, you know, come out here and serve food to the homeless and less fortunate, and then that happens to them," said Gregory Williams of Berkeley.

His wife Aiyanna Williams agreed, saying, "It's just horrible, the things that are happening here, you know, we're really the wild wild West."

Henry Lee is a KTVU crime reporter. E-mail Henry at and follow him on Twitter @henrykleeKTVU and