Earlier this week, the LA Times reported that at least 20 members of an LA street gang, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), were arrested for extorting food trucks under the threat of violence. Quite some big Street Vendors News.
As with many inner city crimes, the gang preyed upon local food trucks operating in their area of Hollywood, not the “gourmet” food trucks you hear so much about. These food trucks generally served workers at construction sites, not “foodies”.
They demanded weekly “rent” of amounts from $30-$100 , depending upon the amount of business conducted at the truck. The vendors were also required to feed some of the gang members.
Mara Salvatrucha, formed in Los Angeles by immigrants from El Salvador and other Central America nations in the 1980s, was recently labeled a trans-national criminal organization by federal law enforcement authorities, a designation that enables federal agents to freeze assets.