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Armed Bandits Accused of Ganking Taco Trucks ~ East Los Angeles

Being a mobile Taquero is not easy. While most people see you a convenient source of delicious tacos, clayudas, and other tasty treats, a treacherous few see you as a moving cash machine, a Brinks truck with no armor and sacks of easy loot at the end of a hard night.

LA Now's Ruben Vives reports that a

tagger crew has robbed at least 22 taco truck vendors at gunpoint over the last two months along busy commercial streets in the Eastside.

The robberies have rattled the taco truck community, and officials said some vendors have been reluctant to report them for fear of retaliation from the perpetrators and possible immigration problems from authorities. As a result, detectives believe there may be more unreported robberies.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department today sought the public’s help in tracking down a 21-year-old man it says is connected to the robberies.

Sgt. Ruben Nava said Nery Perez of East Los Angeles was tied to at least 22 robberies of taco truck vendors along Whittier Boulevard, Olympic Boulevard and Cesar Chavez Ave. “He’s got green eyes and a tattoo of a bat on the right of his neck,” Nava said. “He has a very distinctive look.”

The total haul is estimated to reach $7,000. The Lonchero Association is working directly with the Sheriff to help combat this and other crimes against their brethren. Tonight when you're out at your favorite taco truck, remember the perils of the industry, and spring for some extra tacos, you know they're worth it. And to the enemies of the Loncheros-- you are also the enemies of the taco lifestyle.

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