It’s nacho average crime spree.
A string of armed robberies at taco trucks in Los Angeles turned violent after two people were shot in the early hours of Monday morning.
LAPD investigators responded to a shooting on June 5 on Manchester Avenue in South Los Angeles at around 12:30 a.m.
Local news station KTLA showed video of the Tacos Los Primos truck riddled with at least three bullets.
One person suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound, while a second victim was transported to a local hospital for an unspecified injury in connection to Monday’s shooting, the local outlet said.
LAPD officials said the crime spree began over a week eariler with three incidents on May 28 involving two different groups who hit taco trucks from about 11 pm. to 12:25 a.m.
Video captured at one of the incidents showed a gunman punching a Tacos Los Chemas employee and then jamming a small pistol at his neck.
The suspect, who was wearing a blue hoodie, then yelled demanding cash from those inside the truck, which was parked near the intersection of 103rd Street and South Avalon Boulevard. The two male black suspects got away in a white Honda Accord, LAPD spokesman Officer Drake Madison said.
Police said they believe a group of young hispanic men in their teens and early 20s are responsible and specifically targeted two other taco businesses on June 2. They said the thieves made off with around $1,800 from the two hauls.
Locals lamented the fact businesses which don’t typically carry large amounts of cash are becoming engulfed in violent crime.
“I think it’s very scary.What if they come during my lunch hour? Like here I am at a taco truck trying to get some food,” local customer Ronald Evans told KTLA.
Meanwhile, street vendor activists have set up fundraisers for Tacos Los Chemas employees who were held up last week.
“It’s basically a perfect storm between what’s going on in the economy,” project manager and street food advocate Edin Enamorado told KABC7.
“Prices have risen. Communities are hurting. Poverty and crime go hand in hand, right. And then you add racism, you add a recipe for disaster.”
Los Angeles Police Department officials are still investigating if the robberies are connected, but taco stand operators and employees across LA have been told to remain vigilant.
In all five incidents, the assailants got away with cash and victims’ cell phones, wallets and other belongings, LAPD spokesman Officer Drake Madison told The Post on Monday.
While LAPD officials suggest taco trucks should start advertising that they are a “cashless operation” to deter would-be robbers, it would be hard for most businesses to make that change.
Many taco stands make thousands of dollars on busy weekends, said Edgar Martinez, an employee at Tacos Tamix, which operates all over the Los Angeles area. That could make them easy prey for robbers.
“Some of these taco trucks make thousands and thousands of dollars a night when it’s a busy night,” Martinez told The Post. “And typically, most of the trucks operate only in cash because we don’t want to pay credit card fees and stuff like that. Cash is always more convenient for any taco truck.”
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