Street vendor has stolen van returned; suspect arrested

One man was arrested Monday for attacking and carjacking a street vendor in Hancock Park over the weekend. 

The incident happened at the 700 block of South Rimpau Boulevard just south of Wilshire Boulevard Saturday afternoon.

Witnesses say the neighborhood fruit vendor, 58-year-old Esteban Venancio, was just doing his job when a homeless man punched him, then stole his keys. The van was recovered Sunday in West Covina.

Now Venancio has his van back, thanks in part to the local community. Neighbors helped pay for his impound fee and then some. Venancio said Monday that he was "very happy."

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Venancio said he'd seen his attacker before, and never had a problem with him, adding that he gave the man food shortly before he punched him in the face. He also said that he's especially grateful for the woman who recorded the video because detectives say that helped in the hunt for the van and the suspect.

Venancio says the suspect was arrested wearing clothes stolen from his van.

FOX 11 has reached out to the Los Angeles Police Department for information on the suspect and has not heard back.

Venancio's daughter Sarai Venancio said that she fears for her dad's safety now, and that she's given him pepper spray. But now they know the neighborhood has her father's back.

"For all the people that donated and helped, I’m very grateful," she said. "We feel their support. We’re grateful."