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Last Night’s Taco Stand Robbery in South L.A. Marks Seventh Similar Assault Against Street Vendors Since May 1st

“I’m not going to lose my life over some money,” taquero Oscar Lozano told KTLA in an interview.

11:14 AM PDT on June 15, 2023

    “It happened so fast...the guys were in a rush...they left with so little,” Oscar Lozano told KTLA early this morning, recounting the moment that two armed suspects robbed his taco stand on Towne and Manchester Avenues in South L.A.

    The robbery occurred at 10:30 PM last night, and no injuries were reported.

    After pointing a gun at both Oscar and his female coworker, the suspects took off with somewhere between $50 to $100 in cash. The suspects are described as Latino and five feet tall. This incident against a taco stand marks the seventh similar incident against street vendors since May 1st.

    Police say that street vendors are easy targets for thefts and similar crimes because they are among the most vulnerable, being part of cash-based working communities in Los Angeles.

    “I’m not going to lose my life over some money,” Lozano told KTLA.

    Violence against street vendors is well-documented in Los Angeles. The first incident that went viral was in 2018 when Benjamin Ramirez, an elotero in Hollywood, was assaulted and had his elote cart flipped over. In 2020, an elotera was the victim of a clout-chasing assault by a male, recording the incident to post on social media.

    Such incidents have inspired protests and demonstrations in support of working street vendors, hoping to raise greater awareness and implement security measures to protect them. In the last two years, activist Edin Enamorado has taken his own measures to protect street vendors at all costs, putting his own life on the line by confronting the aggressors who target street vendors and posting about it on Instagram.

    Last year, a Santa Ana councilman raised a discussion to propose a law that would classify all attacks on the Orange County city’s street vendors as hate crimes.

    For Southern California street vendors, help can't come quick enough.

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