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Food trailer owner disappointed someone stole from his business, but plans to keep cooking

Posted at 9:29 AM, Dec 12, 2021

Wilmer Quiles sells his Puerto Rican specialties at the corner of 60th and Oklahoma.

Sazón Criollo is a modest business, run out of a food trailer.

"We done for the week, we go in the next day to clean the trailer, we found the door is open, no register, no tip jar," said Quiles.

He's shocked someone would steal from his little restaurant. He lost $100. But it's not the cash that concerns him.

"We lost the respect already. We work hard, and that happened," said Quiles.

"Money is replaceable. But once, to take advantage of that, the niceness of that person. Take advantage of that, then you really lose the respect of that person," said Brian Adorno, a family friend of Quiles and a regular customer at Sazón Criollo.

Less than a mile away from 60th and Oklahoma, Quiles stores his trailer overnight in the alley behind his home. That's where he had it parked when someone broke in.

Before work, early one morning, he found his register, broken, on the ground, and just a few houses up in the alley, the tip jar, empty.

There have been 9,572 thefts to date this year in Milwaukee, up 19 percent from the same time last year.

"In this season of giving and everything we could give back. And for somebody to try to take advantage of that," said Adorno, Quiles friend.

"It's hard, you know. you get scared. But we need to work again. We need to go day to day," said Quiles.

His tip jar is already filling back up, and despite the holiday setback, he plans to keep on cooking.

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