A truck driver in Texas is suing a truck dealership after his truck was stolen from their business while it was there for maintenance. 

31-year-old Rolando Denova Jr., an owner-operator, dropped off his 2017 Freightliner Cascadia at Doggett Freightliner’s Converse facility near San Antonio, Texas two days before Thanksgiving in 2021. The truck was supposed to get a transmission oil change and a repair on three fuel injector lines. Denova was given a tracking number for the rig and spent the next week with his wife and daughter. 

Around a week later, a Doggett Freightliner employee called Denova to ask is he had picked up the truck because “they could not find it.” Denova told them he had not. Two days later, a Doggett Freightliner employee told him they had not still located the truck, and that security footage showed that truck had been “safely pulled into the back of their lot by their own agents” on Nov. 23, 2021” with no sign of the truck being removed. 

Doggett would not allow for Denova to review the footage himself. 

“They didn’t even apologize. They just said, you better call the police,” said Rudolph Jass Jr., Denova’s San Antonio attorney.

Denova reported his truck stolen to San Antonio police on December 8th, 2021. 

Since then, an SAPD spokesman told Houston Chronicle that the truck was recovered on July 6th, 2022 in Arkansas and that “the owner now has possession of the truck,” but Denova says he doesn’t have it. Now, Denova is seeking up to $2 million in damages in a lawsuit against Doggett Freightliner South Texas LLC and a related business. The suit alleges that a “defect” in security at the Doggett Freightliner South Texas dealership in Converse allowed the truck to “be removed from their lot without being noticed.”

Denova says he lived in his truck as an owner operator, and the theft has “crushed” his dreams. 

“I was planning on starting a trucking company and all that went to nothing, right?” he said in an interview. “I feel kind of lost right now. I don’t know what to do. But I’m going to start from zero and do it all over again.”

In addition to the loss of the truck, Denova lost about $17,000 worth of personal property in the theft, including two Purple mattresses, a Qualcomm radio and a GPS system – which he says must have been disabled before the thieves pulled the truck off the lot. 

“The loss of the vehicle also meant the loss of his business insofar that he was a long-distance truck driver and, without a vehicle, he was unable to continue with his employment,” the lawsuit says.

Denova says he has applied for other trucking jobs but has not heard back, and that the rise in truck prices since the pandemic has made it too expensive for him to buy another, especially since he is still paying the note for the truck that has been stolen from him. 

“This happened at the worst possible time,” the lawyer said.

Denova is supporting his family – now with two daughters – thanks to the help of his savings and his extended family. 

The lawsuit was filed on January 5th in state District Court in San Antonio, where Denova has sued for breach of contract, deceptive trade practices and negligence.

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