NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Surveillance video shows the moment a craftsman’s van was stolen from Bayou Road, between N Roman and N Prieur streets, in the Treme neighborhood.
The van, which contained nearly $4,000 worth of tools, belonged to Wylian Da Costa, who was working when the vehicle was stolen.
“In my case, on my van, it was locked, and it took the guy seven seconds to get in,” explained Da Costa. “I mean, how do you prepare for something like that? Under a minute, he was in and out.”
Sean Colwell, who owns Fire House Loft on Magazine Street, has worked with Da Costa since 2019 and credits him for making Fire House Loft what it is today.
After Colwell learned Da Costa was unharmed and was not present when the van was stolen, he became concerned about how this incident will impact Da Costa’s life.
“My concern was: ‘How is he going to provide for his family without the van?'” said Colwell.
Da Costa, who immigrated to the United States from Brazil in 1999, is the sole breadwinner of his family.
“My wife stays at home, taking care of our child who needs a little bit of special attention,” said Da Costa. “Definitely, this is the only avenue of income that we have.”
Colwell decided to create a GoFundMe for Da Costa because he says Da Costa has always gone the extra mile for him.
“He takes pride in his work. He’s here day and night. He doesn’t clock out at 5 o’clock. He stays as long as he needs to get a job done, and he always comes through for me,” said Colwell.
Although Da Costa has little hope in getting his tools back, he’s grateful for Colwell’s support.
“I try and do right by people; you don’t necessarily expect people to do right by you,” said Da Costa. “I’d say that Sean has done right by me and going above and beyond what I would definitely expect from anyone.”
If you’d like to donate to the GoFundMe, click here.
If you have any information about the crime, call the New Orleans Police Department.