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A String of Taco Stand Robberies Has East LA Street Vendors on Edge

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Police issued a warning to stay vigilant while searching for suspects

A worker turns a trompo of meat in a red apron.
Avenue 26 Taco Stand
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

The Los Angeles Police Department is on the hunt for East LA taco stand robbers. These incidents have been on the rise in the last month, and LAPD issued a warning to late night street vendors while law enforcement investigates and searches for suspects.

As reported by The Eastsider, the LAPD Hollenbeck Division asked the public for help on its Facebook page, stating that alleged gang members are responsible for the string of street vendor robberies. Police apprehended one suspect charged with two other robberies in recent weeks. LAPD shot and arrested the suspect, but believe there are additional and possibly unrelated suspects that might be responsible for other hold ups.

These robberies typically occur late at night, when food vendors are busiest. According to LAPD detective William Blount, the last robbery occurred on June 19 near Aliso Pico Recreation Center on the border between Boyle Heights and Downtown’s Industrial District. Two Latino men robbed a taco stand at gunpoint and stole $120. The suspects wore bandanas over their faces, then ran into the Pico Gardens housing projects to evade capture.

On June 14, two men approached a taco vendor at Gleason Avenue and Mott Street in Boyle Heights and stole $509. This time, the suspects fled in a gold Toyota or Honda according to Blount. Two other robberies occurred on June 6 and June 9.

Police warn of Boyle Heights taco stand robberies [Eastsider]