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Outpouring of support for Littleton food truck owner following trailer theft

Shaun Frederick, Mile Hi Island Grill
Posted at 4:07 PM, Nov 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-01 22:46:46-04

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — A little more than two weeks ago, the future of a Littleton food truck owner's business changed in an instant.

"It's been just rolling with the punches, doing small catering gigs here and there," Mile Hi Island Grill owner Shaun Frederick said Monday.

Someone stole his food truck's trailer from outside his Littleton home the morning of Oct. 16. Denver7 featured his misfortune the next day.

His emotions were still raw.

Custom food truck trailer taken by thieves

"I just broke down because we worked so hard to get it … It's hard because this was feeding my family," he said then.

Frederick quit his nearly 13-year-long career in the federal prison system to pursue his dream of owning a food truck and serving the food he learned to make back home on the island.

"The truck was my livelihood," he said.

What he may not have known was just how much support for him and his family the community was ready to give.

"The Aloha is what we say back home. It's just been amazing," he said.

People from all over have given what they can to make sure he can continue to support his family, pay his bills and continue his dream.

As of Monday, a GoFundMe had raised more than $30,000. And Denver7 viewers have been just as generous, raising several thousand dollars to help pay for a month's worth of rent.

Denver7's Pattrik Perez handed Frederick the check Monday.

"Oh, man. ... That’s awesome. ... Appreciate it. ... Thank you so much. Thanks a lot, Pattrik. Thank you, everybody. Appreciate it," he said.

That's one less bill to worry about this month thanks to Denver7 Gives, giving Frederick a little more time to work with his insurance and figure out his next steps.

"So grateful. ... Big Mahalo, and thank you to everybody," he said.

Although he's had to cancel the rest of his food truck events for the remainder of the year, he's currently accepting catering requests.

"With the holiday season, I mean, if anybody's interested in Mile Hi Island Grill, I run all the social media pages. Hit us up, and we can maybe help you out with that," Frederick said.

Several food truck owners who now have brick-and-mortar locations have offered their trailers, Frederick says, but because of his height, it's not feasible. He's 6'8".

"Because I'm a man of my size, it's hard to make that work," he said.

He's considering purchasing a new custom-built trailer, which he says could cost nearly $100,000 because of the pandemic-cost of materials, but he's hoping his trailer will show up one day soon.

"The ideal situation is we find the trailer somewhere," he said.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says the trailer may have been spotted in Cheyenne, Wyoming, but police there couldn't find it.

If you see it anywhere, call 911.