Street vendor robbed at gunpoint in Tulare, deputies say

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Francisco Cac makes an honest living as a roadside vendor in Tulare County, selling fruit, flowers, and unique items.

He's been at Cartmill and West Avenues for about five years and says what happened Tuesday evening still has him in shock.

He was held at gunpoint by a man and a woman who acted as though they were making a purchase.

"The woman spoke Spanish to me and it felt like she was distracting me when suddenly, I saw the gun pointed at my face," he said.

The suspects also demanded the truck's keys, which they were not able to find.

Cac says before they took off, they grabbed a credit card reader and hundreds of dollars.

"I was in shock and felt anxious after it all happened and called my cousin immediately," he said.

Cac is a vendor for his cousin, Francisco Osorio, who manages his business at multiple locations.

Osorio quickly called 911. He says this isn't the first time one of his workers has been robbed -- but it was the first time a gun was involved.

"I'm thankful he is safe and told him to take the day to rest with pay," Osorio said.

Cac says as a father of three children, he felt he needed to stay strong and return to work.

Sgt. Jessica Vieyra with the Tulare County Sheriff's Office says vendors are vulnerable and wants to remind them they can also report suspicious activity if they see something before it happens.

"Just because there is no video that they have to prove something happened, if they call us to report an incident, we will show up," she said. "We take these incidents very seriously."

Tulare Resident Rozanne Hernandez is a regular customer. She drives by the intersection twice a day and was heartbroken to hear the news.

"I hope they do get past this, continue working hard and not let this deter them from doing that," she said.

Investigators say Osorio was able to have the credit card reader shut down, so there should not be a risk of customers having their information stolen by the robbers.

The suspect vehicle's description is a newer model silver SUV with a black rear bumper.

If you saw something or know something, you can contact the Tulare County Sheriff's Office.

A GoFundMe has been started.
Related topics:
tularearmed robbery
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