Facebook post helps seafood supplier recover stolen van

Posted at 6:00 AM, Nov 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 13:26:49-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego fish distributor is breathing a sigh of relief after a thief stole its only delivery van.

They got it back thanks to an unlikely team who found it the morning after the van disappeared. 

Catalina Offshore Distributor uses the van to get its fresh fish to restaurants and other businesses around the county. Fishmonger Tommy Gomes says it's vital the fish gets there fast. 

"Unfortunately for us, this is not like wine. It doesn't get better with age," he said. "There's no such thing as a dry aged tuna steak."

A thief swiped the van Friday night. A deliverer was doing the day's final drop-off at a Pacific Beach restaurant, but left the vehicle running.

"He came back out, and all he saw was taillights," he said. 

Gomes called the police and even the Border Patrol. But he also posted a picture of the van on the Facebook group Eating and Drinking in San Diego, which has more than 12,000 members. It normally has the latest on happenings in the local restaurant industry, including coming and goings. 

The next morning, Point Loma resident Kristina Botkin saw the van outside her front window and replied on the thread.

Gomes and the police were there minutes later. He used a spare key to take it back, and it's once again making deliveries around the county.

Meanwhile, Gomes said that driver is still employed. San Diego Police didn't find anyone in the van, and no arrests have been made.