3 ON YOUR SIDE (3TV) - When 3 On Your Side came across an SUV sitting in a Tucson parking lot, we had an idea a guy named Alberto Santacruz wasn't in the driver's seat, but the back seat.

[WATCH: Phoenix woman puts money down for food truck, never receives it]

"Can you please turn that (camera) off please?" the unidentified driver asks as 3 On Your Side approaches the vehicle.

"Can you turn that off?" the man asks again.

But, exactly what brought 3 On Your Side to this Tucson parking lot in the first place?

A Phoenix woman named Amber Clark did.

"That's our pastrami sandwich," Clark says as she shows 3 On Your Side pictures of some of the food she prepares for catering. "That's actually an 8-ounce sandwich."

Clark is in the catering industry and wanted to expand her business by buying a food truck. So, back in November of last year, she got on her phone and came across a Tucson company called Santacruz Food Trucks. The business piqued Clark's interest, causing her to hop into her car and drive down to Tucson to take a look.

"Santacruz Food Trucks?" 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper asked her of the business. "You decided to do business with them?"

"Yes," she replied.

Santacruz Food Trucks, run by a guy named Santacruz, drew up a contract indicating he would build Clark a food truck and needed just over $12,000 to get started.

Clark made two payments totaling $12,600.

But seven months later, there's no truck and no communication.

"Have they stopped talking to you?" Harper asked her.

"Yeah," she replied. "I messaged them like a month ago, saying I just want my money back at this point."

"And what do they say?" Harper asked.

"There's no response," she said.

3 On Your Side traveled to Tucson looking for answers. But, Santacruz Food Trucks had already moved from its rural location.

However, we did notice a few food trucks left behind. After visiting other locations where the business used to be, we discovered they had set up shop on Nogales Highway. And it's here where we ran into another alleged victim named Zayra Felix. She was also here looking for answers.

In Spanish, Zayra tells 3 On Your Side that she paid Santacruz Food Trucks $25,000 in cash to fabricate a food trailer. But a month later, she doesn't have it, and she's worried.

That's when 3 On Your Side found out Santacruz Food Trucks is in the process of moving to yet another location located just five minutes away.

So, we head on over to that location, and that's where we find Santacruz, the owner, sitting in the back of an SUV.

"Oh, there's Alberto," Harper says as Santacruz climbs out of the back seat.

"I'm Gary Harper from 3 On Your Side," Harper tells him. "Hey Alberto, can I talk to you about this nice lady here named Zayra Felix? She gave you $25,000."

Visibly nervous, Santacruz explains to 3 On Your Side that he'll have Felix's food trailer ready in two weeks and to not be concerned.

As for Clark, the original woman we came to talk to Santacruz about, he has a different story.

"It just looks a little concerning that Amber Clark gave you a lot of money, and she has nothing. And then this nice lady Zayra," Harper asks before Santacruz interrupts.

"OK," Santacruz shouts. "So, I just got moved here."

"I'm not criminal. I'm not criminal," he yells.

He never does explain why he took over $12,000 from Clark and failed to build a truck. But he does say he'll return all over her money in four weekly installments.

Clark says she'll believe it when she sees the first payment from Santacruz and his so-called food truck company.

"What can they possibly be thinking that I'm thinking?" Clark asks inquisitively. "Like I'm just going to let them have my money and not get a truck?"

That first weekly $3,100 payment is supposed to be submitted this week by Santacruz. But will he live up to his promise? 3 On Your Side will stay on top of it, and we'll let you know what happens in a follow-up news report.

Gary Harper's 3 On Your Side reports air weeknights on 3TV News at 9.

 
 


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