The food truck caper: How social media saved an Alexandria business

WASHINGTON –  An Alexandria restaurant owner is thanking his neighbor who helped him find his very recognizable food truck, which was stolen last week.

It was the first thing Popped Republic owner Rich Arslan saw on Twitter this morning, a picture of the bright, red food truck.

“It said, ‘Hey @PoppedRepublic did you hear if another food truck was stolen’,” Arslan says.

The red food truck stolen from his neighbor’s Indonesian restaurant, called Satay Sarinah, turned up in the same place police found Arslan’s food truck last November.

“Clearly there’s some kind of link here. In Alexandria, two trucks go missing and then they show up in the same area in Forestville, Marylnad,” Arslan says.

As soon as he saw the tweet from a follower in Forestville, Arslan called the owner of the truck, Sonny Setiantoko.

“I can see the door of the generator has been broken … The truck has been spray painted over the logo of my company. That’s all I can see from the photos right now,” Setiantoko says of the state of his food truck.

“I don’t think we would have been able to find my truck or Sonny’s truck if it wasn’t for all the people out there on social media … Nothing beats the power of the people,” Arslan says.

Both business owners are working with Alexandria police to find the thieves they believe stole both trucks. And they thanked the people and businesses who tweeted about the missing food truck.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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