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Food truck thefts continue across Austin; APD shares tips to protect your business

Austin police said in thefts like these, a trailer is usually recovered without parts. Police said it is common for thieves to strip trailers down for money.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin is among the cities with the most food trucks nationwide.

Popular doughnut shop Gourdough's recently had its brand-new Airstream, set to become a food truck, stolen.

On Tuesday, the Airstream, along with other stolen vehicles, was recovered in Cedar Creek just outside of Austin by the Bastrop County Sheriff's Office.

Thieves took the trailer from the owner's friend's home the day after Christmas, also stealing a tractor from the owner's friend.

Maria Arellano is the general manager of Gourdough's. She said a theft like this could have been a major hit to the business.

"We had to take a step back, but now we don't because it was found so fast. So, I mean, that helped us out a lot. And now we can keep on going with our plans, our future plans to expand," Arellano said.

Austin Police Department Officer Ariel Crumes said that, in thefts like these, a trailer is usually recovered without parts. She said it is common for thieves to strip trailers down for money. 

That's something Arellano was worried about.

"I was like, 'They're going to start, you know, taking everything from inside, probably selling it to Facebook Marketplace and stuff like that,'" Arellano said.

The Airstream was already retrofitted with all of the markings the truck needed to be ready for business. Officer Crumes said that helps when trying to locate a stolen trailer or truck.

"Add decals because a lot of times some trailers don't have anything on them, or they do. But add something that is going to be different from everything else, that's going to stick out," Crumes said.

Arellano said 2022 was tough, but customers have gotten Gourdough's through.

"Like, 'It sucks that you guys closed down, but we're still here for y'all.' Like, 'We're loyal customers and we're going to continue to come,'" Arellano said. "So that, I mean, that really made our hearts just be like, 'You know, these people care about Gourdough's.'"

Gourdough's is not the the only restaurant that has been targeted. Over the past couple of months, APD has seen this happen to other Austin restaurants and people's trailers in general.

Austin police said they also have detectives dedicated to these types of crimes, so should you steal someone's property, you will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

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