Food truck owner describes being held at gunpoint, watching customer get shot during robbery

Food truck owner robbed at gunpoint

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte Mecklenburg Police are searching for two male suspects who they say robbed a food truck in a parking lot on The Plaza Saturday.

It happened before 9 p.m. as owner Claudia Juarez was trying to close the Los Paisano’s food truck for the night. She opened her business three months ago and says she had no issues until Saturday night.

“They put one gun on me, and one on my friend, they put it on my head and pointed the other at her, a big gun," Juarez said. "He pushed me to the ground.”

She says two men with faces covered robbed them and shot another customer in his leg. Customer Oscar Carvajal was released from the hospital and is recovering.

An incident like this is every food truck owner’s worst nightmare.

Matthew Williams opened Rico's Acai five years ago. They've had things stolen several times.

“While the trailers have been parked, we’ve had people break the doors open and clean out cash registers and stuff prior to having safes installed,” Williams said.

He says having lights at night and keeping an eye on what’s going on outside is important, but even that can’t protect you from everything.

“I’m a concealed carry weapon permit holder and I encourage my employees to concealed carry if they are on premise if they so desire,” he said. “I offer reimbursement to go take the class and become certified.”

He says it comes with the territory.

“If you run a cash business just be aware of your surroundings,” Williams said.

Juarez hopes police can track down the robbers, but for now she’s feeling lucky to be alive.

“Terrible, terrible," she said. "I was scared. I have my kids. If I never returned to hug them it would be terrible.”

CMPD offers safety tips including not resisting robbery. They say you should hand over the cash because it’s not worth your life.

The suspects fled on foot, and officials say no arrests have been made at this point.

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