Durham-based food truck Chirba Chirba Dumpling was stolen from a storage facility early Monday morning and ransacked. Six hours later, it turned up at a Dollar Tree in East Durham.
Police are currently investigating the theft. Chirba owner Nate Adams says that, according to security footage of the incident, the thief broke into the storage unit at about 2:00 a.m., found a set of keys hidden on the truck, and drove off in under a minute.
“It doesn’t look like they tried to cook anything, but they removed the generator, propane tanks, coolers full of drinks, spare tire, and cables,” says Adams.
The truck was recovered before Adams even had a chance to plea for help on social media. A friend noticed the truck parked at the Dollar Tree on Miami Boulevard at 8:00 a.m. and alerted Adams. Adams estimates that between the stolen items and day of lost service, Chirba suffered at least a $10,000 loss. His insurance company will cover the damage to the truck—the suspect backed into a tree, Adams says—but he won’t be reimbursed for the missing inventory and lost revenue.
Thanks to an outpouring of support from the community, however, the truck is up and running again.
“My phone immediately started blowing up with food truckers seeing if they could help,” Adams says. “One loaned a propane tank, others offered cables and a generator.”
Adams shrunk his business earlier this year after he and his partner had a baby, selling Chirba’s second truck in order to support and spend more time with his family.
“This is our only income right now,” Adams says. “If we hadn’t been able to recover the truck, it would’ve meant the end.”
Adams says he plans to express his gratitude by opening a brick-and-mortar location soon.
“After seeing this massive response, I want to give them a cute little dumpling shop so they can come get Chirba any time they want,” he says.
Chirba has started a GoFundMe page to aid its recovery; click here to donate.
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