KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Like hundreds of people across the Kansas City metro who are trying to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, Christian Maciel and his wife pivoted how they run their food truck, Taste of Brazil.
"We’re doing only online orders, so there’s no contact at all,” Maciel said. “I don’t even bring my system to take any orders at the truck."
But on Monday, Maciel woke up to find the key to his family’s livelihood missing.
"When I got to the restaurant to prep the food, I looked behind my food truck and my generator was not there,” he said.
The man who stole the generator was caught on security camera footage from City Market, where Maciel parked the truck next to the restaurant.
"We find the guy 2:45 in the morning, just hanging out and [then] took it off,” Maciel said.
Maciel spread the word on social media in hopes of someone recognizing the man – then spent the day trying to find someone to repair an old generator so he could make his next delivery in Parkville on Wednesday.
"We are open for three to four hours a day right now,” Maciel said, “just to have enough money to pay the people that are working so they can have a job.”
All things considered, his attitude toward the situation is not one of negativity.
"I'm not mad at him,” Maciel said. “Yeah, it's kind of a weird feeling. Yeah, I'm upset that this happened to me, but I want to believe that probably he needs more than I do, you know, while he's out there doing that, some of that kind of stuff.
“I'm not saying what he did is right, but I'm trying to look at this guy like, what does he need that he has to go out there and steal from people, you know? I don't know if his kids, if he needs food at home, I don't know."
Admitting it’s upsetting, Maciel said he knows first-hand that people have to stay positive.
"Because coming from another country, you know, I've been living here for about 15 years,” Maciel said. “I come here with no English. I couldn't say, ‘Hi,’ 15 years ago, and I feel this country is such an amazing place that given the opportunity, if you do the right thing, if you push yourself to the right direction, you can succeed.”
On April 1 and 2, Taste of Brazil will be in the Thousand Oaks area in Parkville at 6620 North Nevada Avenue. Pre-ordering online is available until 2 p.m. and pick-up is from 4-6 p.m.
For more information about Taste of Brazil’s schedule or to order takeout, visit the restaurant online.
Anyone with information about the man in the surveillance video is asked to contact KCPD.