Robber steals from a dozen Houston food trucks; violent crime down this year across city

Houston police are looking for the man seen on surveillance camera robbing several food trucks.

Throughout the last month, police say the man on video has robbed at least a dozen food trucks across Houston.

BACKGROUND: Houston police searching for suspect involved in at least 12 food truck robberies

"He pointed the gun, a shotgun, at my employee," said Rolando Hernandez, owner of El De La Barbacoa. "It’s a very powerful gun. We’re blessed he didn’t shoot."

The Houston Police Department shared video of the robber on their social media platforms.  Officials say the food truck robberies started taking place on August 9.

"Lock your doors," said J.D. Valdez. "Have a gun. Don’t wait to get shot before you look for it."

In 2021, Valdez was shot outside of a Kroger in northwest Houston. According to Valdez, he had just purchased food for his mobile food business. As he was walking to his car, Valdez says a man he didn’t know started yelling at him. Moments later, Valdez says the man shot him six times.

"I thought I was going to get in a fist fight or something," said Valdez. "The dude pulls out a gun and started unloading. I felt the impacts pretty much rocking my body. About a second later, I see my arm in front of my face and realize it’s been broken, dislocated, and I know it’s serious."


Valdez continues to recover from the shooting. During the last several months, he tried reopening his food truck outside of the city for personal safety concerns. However, the business wasn’t as successful financially and he had to close down.

"I wanted to recover outside the city, because PTSD is real," said Valdez.

Over the weekend, one of Houston’s most prominent pastors gave a controversial sermon at Second Baptist Church. During the sermon, Dr. Ed Young claimed Houston is the most dangerous city in the United States.

"Houston is right now, the most dangerous city in America to live in," said Dr. Young. "If Houston and Harris County is to survive, we have better throw those bums out of office. They are not doing their job that we have called them to do."

In Wednesday’s city council meeting, Houston leaders responded to the pastor’s claims.

"Our [crime] numbers are down in comparison to last year," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. "Let’s not bash our city by inaccurate information."


According to statistics provided by the Houston Police Department, violent crime is down by 10% this year compared to last year. In addition, HPD says robberies have dropped by 7% and murders have decreased by 1%.

"The facts are important," said HPD Chief Troy Finner. "The numbers shouldn’t lie, they should be true. There is room for improvement. I don’t say that we doing everything right, but we do a pretty good job."

If anyone has information about the recent food truck robberies, they’re urged to contact police. So far, no arrests have been made.

"We’re trying to be careful," said Hernandez. "What else can we do?  We have to make money."