Long Beach

Food truck employee punched during robbery attempt in Long Beach

The 8-year-old child of the food truck's owner was also present when the attempted robbers confronted the employees.

NBC Universal, Inc.

It was a frightening night for a family simply trying to make a living selling tacos in Long Beach when two armed robbers punched a worker in the face during a robbery attempt.

Surveillance video taken from inside the Los Bros Tacos food truck Saturday night shows two employees prepping food when one man, in a green Long Beach beanie and mask, enters the truck while pointing a small gun at them. The workers then backed away as another man in a sweatshirt entered the vehicle, then taking one of the worker’s phones.

Employees told NBC4 the men demanded cash from the owner, who was on the other side of the truck along with his 8-year-old child. When the owner refused to tell them where the money was, one of the men became irate and struck a 19-year-old employee in the face.

The food truck posted a photo of the worker's injury to Instagram, showing the gash and blood on his face, along with a GoFundMe account to help him with his expenses. NBC4 has covered several street vendor robberies in the last seven months, the most recent one having been reported just 10 days ago in Los Angeles.

Mariscos El Garage food truck is down the street from Los Bros Tacos in Long Beach. They’ve been running a food truck on Pacific Coast Highway and Cherry Avenue for two years and owner Elsa Barragan said she was very scared to hear what happened.

“It makes me afraid because this is a family business," she said. "I also have my kids working with me… my husbands in there… this is what pays our bills. So, to have somebody come in like that -- it’s very scary."

She added that it helps to partner in a lot with a business. In her case -- a nightclub right on the main street -- with regular customers who they trust. She also has security cameras and locks the doors whenever she’s inside.

The Los Bros Tacos food truck is still open for business at both of its Long Beach locations.

A spokesperson for the Long Beach Police Department said they are investigating the case. It encourages people to report suspicious activity to police dispatch at 562-435-6711. General Robbery Safety Tips are also provided by the department.

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