Two men caught on surveillance video breaking into East Austin food truck
The door of the orange Poke Me Long Time food trailer on East 6th is battered, with telltale dents. "They bent this door all the way back and actually put themselves in this way," said Yasuo Yamada, who works at Poke Me Long Time. The thieves could not bust the lock on the door, so they bent the metal back and crawled in.
But once inside, a surveillance camera captured the thieves stealing cash and electronics. "And a bottle of vodka that we had in there and that's what they got," said owner Kevin Randolph Wryly. He counts his losses in the thousands of dollars. "$2,000, maybe close to $2,500 with all the electronics, the cash in the register, the register itself, the door I have to replace," he said.
In the end, it was the iPads that led police right to the suspects. Randolph tracked their location using the Find My iPhone app on the iPads. Marlo Melendez and Luis Vizcarra are now facing charges in connection with burglaries at five different food trucks in the same food truck park on Wednesday morning.
"When they caught up to them, one of the guys was sleeping in the truck that they stole all the stuff with. The other guy was trying to get a taco," Yamada said. The arrest affidavit says the truck was also reported stolen.
A day later, some of the damage was fixed. "They couldn't get into the lock. It was secure. So, they had to bend the corner, and you know it was bad," Yamada said, pointing to the door. Randolph says he's not going to let one bad deed stop him from serving up poke. "Actually, I want to thank APD. They caught the guys around 8 o' clock. We got robbed at 3, they caught the guy at 8."
Vizcarra is facing a felony enhanced theft charge because of his previous theft convictions in Travis and Hays counties. All the charges faced by both men are state jail felonies.