South Los Angeles

‘I just wanted to show some love.' Community shows support for street vendor who was robbed

The thieves took off with more than $2,000 -- money that was intended for a deposit for an apartment.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Residents in South Los Angeles extended a hand of kindness on Sunday in support of a street vendor who was mugged of the savings he built to obtain an apartment for himself and his young daughter.

An emotional Jose Carbajal gave his warm thanks to those who showed up to purchase T-shirts from him and donate money after video of him being robbed by five masked men circulated social media. The single father was robbed Saturday afternoon near the intersection of Manchester Avenue and Broadway, where the thieves took his entire savings, passport and vehicle registration.

“The community’s support has made me feel good,” Carbajal told NBC4. “It makes me feel like Los Angeles’ support is a very beautiful thing. Like they say, I woke up hurt but you got to get up and get back to work. I do it for my daughter, so I can’t stop.”

Carbajal said the thieves took off with more than $2,000 – money he was going to use as a deposit for an apartment. He said he and his 8-year-old daughter, who has autism, have been living in a motel room for the past several months.

“I feel sad but with the drive to keep working and going for my daughter,” he said.

Jessica Crummie, who lives not too far from South LA, said seeing the video of the robbery broke her heart and hit close to home for her.

Jessica Crummie and her daughter show support for Jose Carbajal on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2023.

“We’ve seen it on Instagram and my daughter, she has autism, as well,” Crummie said. “We come from a non-profit called Sisters of Watts, so we do a lot for our community. It touched me to see that. People out here are trying to raise money for they family and you know, it just don’t make no sense.”

Crummie’s young daughter greeted Carbajal’s daughter with a hug, bringing the vendor to tears. Another good Samaritan said he drove out from the northeast LA area to show support for the small family.

“I felt bad for him as well, because I have a son who’s also autistic,” Julio Diaz said. “And to see that and for her to go through that, that’s pretty bad. I imagined her if she was my son, how traumatic that would have been for him. I just wanted to show my support. I’m also a single father, as well. I get it. I wish them nothing but the best … I just wanted to show some love, that’s all.”

For now, Carbajal said he’ll continue working and saving up again to acquire an apartment. He added that a local activist reached out to him to help him create a GoFundMe account to help him replenish his savings.

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