A Southern California man recalls watching his beloved truck being stolen and destroyed during a police pursuit in South Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Video captures the moment the stolen truck slammed into a fruit stand and catering truck while narrowly missing bystanders.
KTLA’s John Fenoglio spoke to Joe Montoya, the owner of the stolen truck.
“I’ve had that in the family for a long time and I really took care of it,” said Joe. “For me, it cost a lot of money. I depend on that truck heavily. I do all kinds of property maintenance.”
Joe woke up to the news of his truck being stolen after his daughter, Jocelyn Montoya, returned from taking out the trash outside their Redondo Beach home.
“I noticed there were some pieces of taillight on the ground,” recalled Jocelyn. “And I know my dad usually parks his truck in front of the house and there was this big empty space and the truck was missing.”
The theft was captured on a nearby home surveillance camera around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Video captures an SUV pulling up alongside the truck as a passenger exits the vehicle. The suspect walks over to Joe’s truck and in less than four minutes, the truck is driven away by the thief.
Later that day at around 1 p.m., Los Angeles Police received a LoJack hit on a stolen vehicle on the 110 Freeway — Joe’s pickup truck.
Officers pursued the truck for a short distance on the freeway before the suspect crashes on the 400 block of Vernon Avenue in the Vermont Square neighborhood. The truck is seen violently striking a fruit stand and a catering truck while customers are present.
Joe recalls feeling stunned while watching the events unfold on live television and social media, witnessing his truck being destroyed during the pursuit. Video shows the truck was a mangled mess after the crash.
“The truck being on the news and the footage that you guys showed, it’s a very unique truck,” explained Joe. “It is a ‘99, so it’s older and it’s unique in that I took very good care of it. I paid a lot of money for it and I worked many hours to get that truck. I can spot that truck. You wouldn’t see one around like that.”
Joe says without his truck, the next few months will be difficult.
“We’ll do what we can,” said Joe. “I’m just thankful that nobody got killed.”
No bystanders were injured during the violent crash, but the driver was transported to the hospital in serious condition. Authorities had to rescue the suspect from the wreckage of the truck.