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Guerilla Tacos Was Robbed For More Than $20,000 and is ‘Struggling’ to Stay in Business

“There was a significant amount of money in the safe intended to be deposited and used to pay bills and make sure we can clear payroll,” Guerrilla Tacos owner Brittney Valles revealed. “That is all gone now.”

9:35 AM PDT on October 27, 2023

On Wednesday evening, Guerilla Tacos in the Arts District was robbed. 

Brittney Valles, co-owner of Guerilla Tacos as well as Gogo’s Tacos in Silver Lake, confirmed in a heartfelt video posted on Instagram that a safe that stood in the same spot for six years was jacked while she was out of town.

“There was a significant amount of money in the safe intended to be deposited and used to pay bills and make sure we can clear payroll,” Valles revealed. “That is all gone now.”

Valles told L.A. TACO that they don’t usually keep that much cash in the safe, but because she was out of town on a mezcal buying trip, the safe was filled with around $20,000 in deposits. “We normally don’t have that much cash. It's a very unusual amount [for us].”

Valles said at least three people were caught on camera haphazardly rummaging around the business with a crowbar and an electric saw, presumably to cut open the safe. “They had a crowbar and crow-bared doors that weren’t even locked,” Valles laughed.

She believes the robbers might have been familiar with the business. “It felt that way, just because they knew exactly where to come,” Valles said. “They had a saw on them..they probably tried to saw [the safe open] and couldn't get in and just decided to take [the whole safe].”

Valles is waiting on additional security camera footage to confirm how they got in.

On Thursday afternoon, she filed a police report with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

Despite earning a coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand award in 2019 and being arguably one of L.A.’s most popular taquerías and mezcal bars, Valles says that Guerilla was already struggling before the robbery.

“In Los Angeles, it’s become increasingly difficult for independent restaurants to survive,” Valles said in her IG video.

Valles told L.A. TACO that business began slowly down dramatically in July and they just had one of their slowest weeks. On top of fewer people eating out, Guerilla’s expenses have climbed substantially. Valles said her insurance bill went from $3,000 to $6,000 monthly, and her Los Angeles Department of Water and Power bill recently tripled.

Bi-monthly robberies haven’t made things any easier.

Just a couple of months ago, over the summer, Valles’ Silver Lake taquería was similarly broken into and robbed. “At this point, I don’t know what to do. I am a strong believer in signs from the universe. If it’s meant to be yours, you won’t have to force it,” Valles said in an August Instagram post. “The constant vandalism, robbery, and not to mention frivolous ADA claims have made the already difficult task of running a restaurant 10 times more difficult. We can’t catch up, and we can’t get ahead.”

In recent months, Valles has watched her neighbors and countless other restaurants quietly close. “It’s concerning because all of the restaurants are closing around us. It almost feels like death is coming for you.”

Guerilla Tacos isn’t going down quietly, though. They’re asking the community for support. During an interview with L.A. TACO, Valles clarifies that if Guerilla doesn’t see an increase in business, they’re destined to close. 

“Guerilla Tacos exists every day because of everybody willing to show up,” Valles said. “If at any moment people are over it, it wouldn’t exist.”

Valles says you can support Guerilla Tacos by following them on social media and engaging with their content, buying their merch (which includes aprons), and, of course, eating their award-winning tacos and regionally sourced mezcals. 

2000 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

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