San Jose Councilman Tam Nguyen faces an uphill re-election battle this fall. His repeat challenger for the District 7 seat, Franklin-McKinley School District trustee Maya Esparza, enjoys the support of organized labor while Nguyen has been forging ahead with no institutional backing to speak of.
At a candidate forum last week, Nguyen took some flak from community members and advocates for what came off as callous comments about how some homeless people are beyond being helped. It was a rough day to close out a long week.
But it was about to get worse.
“Somebody stole my truck,” Nguyen told Fly in a phone call from the Shirakawa Community Center parking lot while waiting for police to show up. “I left the truck out here last night, and now it’s gone.”
Nguyen explained how he left his white 1998 F-150 (license plate number: 90604Z1) outside the East Side community center overnight after dropping off supplies for a city-sponsored youth summer program. He took another car to work the next morning, and when he returned to pick up his pickup with a silver camper shell and dent on the right passenger door, it was gone.
For the victim of a car theft, he seemed surprisingly calm, though—even a few days later when police still hadn’t tracked down the missing vehicle.
“Just an old beat-up truck that I used to carry stuff for community events,” he said. “Apparently somebody needed it more. Hope he or she makes good use of it.”
On the upside, he added, he got to meet a “very nice lady officer” named Kelly Carol. Nguyen said she was one of the city’s first community service officers—a class of civilian San Jose Police Department employees hired to make up for a shortage of sworn staff by responding to lower-priority calls, which apparently include grand theft auto.