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Some Jerk Stole This Mobile, Three-Wheel Espresso Bar

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3 Wheel Cafe says that their distinctive, three-wheeled espresso bar/cart has been stolen from its storage facility in Torrance. What's more, all of the company's equipment has gone along with it.

"They stole our whole business. We were headed towards a brick and mortar, and now this happens," A.J. Remy told LAist. Remy co-owns the store with her husband Kai.

Remy believes that the theft happened sometime between October 30 and November 6 at a Life Storage in Torrance. 3 Wheel Cafe, which has been around for four months, keeps all of its belongings (including the cart) in a trailer that was parked in the open-air compound. Remy first noticed on Sunday that the trailer, as well as everything inside of it, had gone missing. She says that a number of other businesses use that space to store their equipment; she's seen a woodfire oven out there, as well as a portable climbing wall.

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While Remy declines to name the worth of the cart, she notes that it costs more than all the other equipment she's lost. These include a $5000 espresso machine, as well as a grinder and a fridge, both of which are valued at $600.

The loss of the mobile espresso bar goes beyond the money, as it's more than just a utilitarian tool. What we've been calling a "cart" is actually a Piaggio Ape (pronounced Ah-Pay), a type of 3-wheel, lightweight vehicle that has become an icon in Italy.

As noted at Urbana-Cafe, the Ape arrived at a time when Italy was first starting to recover from the war. As the economy picked up, and commerce continued to grow, Vespa scooters became essential in moving people around the narrow streets of Rome and other major cities. The Vespa, however, wasn't exactly suited to carry a heavy workload. So, to meet the demands of companies that needed to ship goods locally, Vespa worked with designers Enrico Piaggio and Corradino D'Ascanio to come up with the Ape. While still portable and practical (current models can get you about 70 miles to the gallon), the back hub was roomy enough for the vehicles to be used as mini-delivery trucks and makeshift gelato stands. Ever since its inception, the vehicles have become ubiquitous in Italy, and they've grown to be a symbol of endearment.

All this is to say that the Ape is perfect for 3 Wheel Cafe, which Remy says is centered around classic Italian-style coffee drinks. Remy said that, when she realized this Sunday that the trailer was stolen, she was in "disbelief."

"I thought it was a bad joke, everyday i wake up, I realize more and more that we're going to have to rebuild this," said Remy. She adds that they had to turn down two gig offers this week because they don't have the equipment anymore.

A detective is currently working on the case. Remy says that, on a more optimistic note, she has a contact who builds and repairs Apes, and that he may help them get a new cart, if need be. "We'll do it better this time around," said Remy.

If you have any information regarding the missing trailer (the license plate is 4PR5335), Remy urges you to contact the Carson Sheriff's Station at (310) 830-1123.

And here's a video of the Ape in action:

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