Albuquerque food truck owner reels from trailer theft

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A local food truck owner is looking for answers after someone took his livelihood away from him as it sat in his own driveway.

Damien La Riva has fed hundreds of people with his restaurant on wheels, La Riva’s New Mexican Food Truck.

“People love the people who feed them good food. We do queso burgers, asada tacos. I do barbecue, brisket, pulled pork and a little bit of everything. It’s been a family business, I have three kids that are all grown now that have worked in the food truck,” La Riva said.

La Riva usually sets up in front of CNM’s campus Now, he can’t after heartbreak Tuesday morning.

“My wife woke me up, freaking out, screaming and yelling that the food truck was gone. She got up for work and it just wasn’t here,” La Riva recalled.

His neighbor’s surveillance footage from around the time of the alleged theft shows a white truck. He says that’s the only clue they have about who did it.

“It’s been, my livelihood my only source of income for the past eight-plus years,” La Riva expressed.

According to him, three months ago, a drunk driver crashed into the trailer when it was in front of his home. During that time, La Riva was out of a job and relied on side hustles to get by and fix the trailer.

“There was damage to the plumbing system, to the electrical, to the body itself. It was extensive and about $4,000 worth of damage,” he said.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, the trailer just came back from the repair shop. He was hoping to sell the trailer and even had potential buyers.

Now, that’s all gone.

“It didn’t have insurance because I haven’t been working so there is no insurance on the unit so it’s a total loss if I don’t get it back,” he explained.

La Riva has invested nearly $50,000 into his food truck trailer. He said he filed a police report and hopes to get the trailer back.

La Riva is also asking the public to keep an eye out for it. If you see it, call police.