RIVERSIDE – A food truck owner made a big investment in her business just to have someone remove a generator from the back of her truck this weekend, and now she wants it back.
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Nicole Cornett, owner of Billie Gould Bubble Tea, posted a photo on social media of what happened this weekend.
Brandon Lewis of News Center 7 spoke with her Sunday night and said someone immediately removed the generator from the back of her truck when it was pulled over to the side of US 35.
Cornett said she was driving her food truck home Saturday when she ran out of gas on US 35 eastbound and stopped near the Woodman Drive off-ramp. She walked to a gas station, and when she got back to her truck, she couldn’t find the generator.
Cornet opened up about her ordeal on social media on Saturday.
“So, here I am on the side of 35, like my bus is out of gas,” Cornet said. “I’m not sure, I have a problem with my gas gauge. I’m right next to exit 35. I’m not kidding. I left for 10 minutes. I walked. I had a gas tank. I came back and someone stole me generator.”
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She owns a Billie Gold milk tea truck and was driving home after 5.30pm on a Saturday night when the fuel gauge on the truck failed and suddenly claimed she was out of gas.
Cornett said he walked to the nearest gas station and was there for no more than 15 minutes. When she returned, she said the generator strapped to a rack in the back of her dining car was missing.
“Honestly, I’ve already left my car,” she said. “I think it’s been parked for longer than 10 or 15 minutes, and it never occurred to me that someone would steal it from there.”
Cornett told Lewis that the generator was a major investment in her bubble tea business, costing more than $5,000.
“It’s sad that someone saw an opportunity in the 15 minutes I was gone, and I had a crisis myself,” she said.
Cornett does have a smaller generator that allows her to keep operating the truck during this time.
“In my opinion, the best-case scenario is to return the generator,” she told Lewis. “Who is stealing from businesses?”
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Since sharing her story on social media, Cornett said the sharing and comments have been a huge boost for her, and she’s even gotten tips from people online.
“It’s like a whole community,” she said. “They’ve really supported me and helped me get this generator back and I love them a lot. It’s a great community.”
Cornett told Lewis that a witness said they saw two men loading the generator into a smaller yellow pickup truck.
Riverside Police confirmed to News Center 7 that a police report has been made.
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