A family-owned food cart brazenly robbed on Jackson Heights Street early Saturday

A family food cart offering Venezuelan dishes was stolen Saturday morning from its operating location in Jackson Heights (Photos courtesy of Jonathan Gomez)

August 1, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

A family food cart that offers Venezuelan dishes was stolen Saturday morning from its Jackson Heights operating location.

The red-colored cart, called Chamo Landiawas taken around 12:30 p.m. from the corner of 83rd Street and Northern Boulevard by a suspect, or suspects, using a flatbed truck, according to police and video footage.

Chamo Landia is known for providing cachapas, patacóns and arepas as well as burgers, hot dogs and fruit drinks.

The cart was driven by Jonathan Gomez and his father-in-law Helmer Gelves. Gomez said her son and daughter also work in the cart, adding that the whole family relies heavily on it for income. A GoFundMe was set up to help the family buy a new cart.

The family bought the cart about 7 months ago for $20,000, after starting the business from a smaller cart about two years ago, Gomez said.

“It’s horrible, it’s our livelihood, we don’t understand,” Gomez said.

He appealed to the public to help him find the trolley.

The cart, which was in front of the Galicia bar, was closed at the time of the alleged theft.

Grainy security footage shared on the company’s Instagram page shows the food cart being pulled off the curb while hitched to a dark colored flatbed truck.

Another security camera then captures the food cart being transported east along Northern Boulevard by the truck.

Gomez says he doesn’t know why their food cart was targeted, given there are a number of other food vendors operating in the area.

“Maybe they sold the cart – we’re waiting for news from the police,” Gomez said.

Police told the Queens Post on Monday they have not yet identified a suspect or suspects in the case and an investigation is ongoing.

Meanwhile, Alejandro Martin, a local restaurateur, has set up a GoFundMePage this morning to help the family get back on their feet.

Martin, who is a friend of the family, said he was furious to hear the cart had been stolen and called on residents to donate to the fund. The fundraiser aims to raise $15,000.

“I’m outraged to know this is happening…affecting entrepreneurs who want to move forward and nurture the community,” Martin wrote on the page in Spanish.

“As a restaurant owner, I know how difficult it is and the sacrifices we make to open every day…and with your help, we can give back what was taken from them.”

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