Thief Makes Off With San Jose Councilman’s Beat-Up F-150

San Jose Councilman Tam Nguyen faces an uphill re-election battle this fall. His repeat challenger for the District 7 seat, Franklin-McKinley School District trustee Maya Esparza, enjoys the support of organized labor while Nguyen has been forging ahead with no institutional backing to speak of.

At a candidate forum last week, Nguyen took some flak from community members and advocates for what came off as callous comments about how some homeless people are beyond being helped. It was a rough day to close out a long week.

But it was about to get worse.

“Somebody stole my truck,” Nguyen told Fly in a phone call from the Shirakawa Community Center parking lot while waiting for police to show up. “I left the truck out here last night, and now it’s gone.”

Nguyen explained how he left his white 1998 F-150 (license plate number: 90604Z1) outside the East Side community center overnight after dropping off supplies for a city-sponsored youth summer program. He took another car to work the next morning, and when he returned to pick up his pickup with a silver camper shell and dent on the right passenger door, it was gone.

For the victim of a car theft, he seemed surprisingly calm, though—even a few days later when police still hadn’t tracked down the missing vehicle.

“Just an old beat-up truck that I used to carry stuff for community events,” he said. “Apparently somebody needed it more. Hope he or she makes good use of it.”

On the upside, he added, he got to meet a “very nice lady officer” named Kelly Carol. Nguyen said she was one of the city’s first community service officers—a class of civilian San Jose Police Department employees hired to make up for a shortage of sworn staff by responding to lower-priority calls, which apparently include grand theft auto.

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The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

8 Comments

  1. He’s right about at least some homeless people. You can’t blame him for being unsympathetic. There aren’t that many homeless Asians in particular, or homeless immigrants in general since they would not come here if they didn’t want to work hard and honestly. Their main social problem is gambling, which could lead to homelessness so that is one potential problem he should keep in mind.

  2. Why was his truck parked over night. Sounds suspect. He looks suspect. Isn’t Tams law license suspended? That’s suspect.

  3. Yep, when I called the SJPD 911 number while watching my neighbors truck being broke into their response was “we don’t respond to property crimes anymore”! Guess a good time to invest in a firearm. Then again maybe it was a cop stealing the truck.

  4. I wish he would have done more to clean up the main streets in his districts. He’s attitude has contributed to the problem in his district. Caring about the homeless is caring about the residents in his district. I would NEVER vote for him again.

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