A bright pink food truck that sells specialty pressed juice and raw food was stolen from its Brooklyn parking lot early Sunday morning but returned a day later after NBC 4 New York reported the story.
The truck bearing "The Squeeze" company logo was returned late Monday night, dumped on the border of Queens and Nassau County, about 13 miles from where it was taken in Williamsburg, its owner says. It had 1,500 bottles of cold-pressed juice in it retailing $10 apiece.
"This is my life's work, and this is the kind of thing that destroys small businesses," said truck owner Karliin Brooks, before it was returned. She normally sets up in Union Square.
Brooks said she knows who stole the truck: the suspect in the surveillance video is a former employee who'd been fired after two weeks when she learned he'd been arrested and sent to jail.
Brooks said the ex-employee used to drive her truck and he knew a spare set of keys was kept at the bodega next door. He apparently went there, told the bodega workers he was working a shift and got the keys, said Brooks.
He then bought a beer, then went to her prep kitchen and trashed it before ultimately stealing the truck, according to Brooks.
"It's so easily identifiable," she said. "I can't imagine how he could drive more than three blocks without getting recognized. I can't imagine how he could take it to a chop shop."
Police confirmed Monday that they were looking for the ex-employee. It's not clear whether he or anyone else has been arrested in the heist.
Brooks got an anonymous call Monday night alerting her to the truck's location.