FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Al Lopez was down on his luck and laid off, so he borrowed $8,000 to start his own business and now he's trying to find a way to earn it back
A quick trip to the gas station last week turned out to be a heart-pounding and expensive theft.
"Out in the open, I pulled the envelope out of my back pocket, took $20 out and put the envelope back in my back pocket," said Lopez. "I paid for the gas, go back to the pump, pump the gas and as I was about to get back into my truck, this person came from behind me."
Al was on his way to work when he pulled off Highway 99 at Olive and stopped at the Sinclair gas station.
He believes the thieves had scoped him out but he never saw them coming. It all happened so fast, he didn't have the time to get a license plate number before they were gone.
Neither the thief nor the getaway driver ever said a word.
The $8,000 was a loan to help him front the costs it would take to get him through his first job.
"But I didn't have the funds I needed in order to conduct business, so I was talking to another general contractor who I've done work for in the past and he offered to help out," said Lopez.
Fresno Police are now reviewing footage taken from surveillance cameras in the area. Officers are working to track down the car used in the crime and identify the suspects.
Regret and frustration are only a few of the feelings Al is experiencing. Although he doesn't want to dwell on what's happened, he feels the burden of needing to provide for his family's basic needs and now make up for the lost money that needs to be paid back.
"If I'm thinking about what happened, what comes to mind is, I think I could have prevented this. I think," said Lopez.
Al isn't confident the police will ever get his money back, but his family has started a GoFundMe account and already it's raised more than $3,000.