ORLANDO, Fla. - A truck driver broke down in tears Tuesday while telling WPXI’s sister station WFTV about the thieves who drove off with his semi full of beer from an Orange County truck stop.
The victim's truck and at least one other were swiped Monday from a truck stop on South Orange Blossom Trail.
Van Thomas was trying to live the American dream. After years as a trucker, he bought a semi three weeks ago and made a company of his own.
Thomas was traveling from Texas to Pompano Beach and was on his last stop before a delivery in Orlando when his entire truck and alcohol cargo was stolen.
"I don't mean to cry about it but I'm just trying to do the best I can and make a better life," Thomas told WFTV.
Inside the truck was 44,000 pounds of Miller High Life, which comes out to about 9,700 four-packs.
"It's just so devastating to me," said Thomas.
It's not the first time a semi has been stolen in Florida. About 180,000 eggs were stolen earlier this year in Fort Myers. A truck with Hershey chocolate was also stolen in December in Volusia County, and a truck with Slimfast was swiped near downtown Orlando.
Just when Thomas thought he lost everything, he received a phone call telling him the truck and most of the cargo had been located.
"Oh, my God. That's beautiful," he said.
The call came in from detectives that the truck had been found in Miami.
There's no word on whether the robbers knew "The Champagne of Beers" was inside at the time of the theft. Detectives are still trying to figure out who stole the two trucks and if they are part of a bigger ring.