A school district food service truck stolen from its location at Center School sometime between Saturday and Monday was found abandoned near milepost 144 on Interstate 5 in western Washington, the Washington State Patrol reported.
The truck was found Monday and was towed to a neutral location. District officials said a driver and mechanic are going to the site to recover the truck today (Wednesday).
The theft resulted in cold district meals for students since the truck housed a large food warmer used by kitchen personnel to deliver warm meals to students in the three schools.
Also taken, from a nearby fenced-in area location, were several pieces of metal, including a satellite dish, aluminum tubing, wire, desks, chairs, chain link fence, pipe and a large fryer. Many of the items were stored in the fenced in area while awaiting them to be declared surplus. Value of these items was estimated at over $3,000.
The gate to the area had been taken off its hinges and was found leaning against the fence.
Police stated Tuesday that it wasn’t known if the thieves used the truck to haul the material away from the site, but it was assumed so.
The WSP reported to the district that there was damage to the left front hood and to the top of the truck. It was not known if the truck was driveable.
The WSP also reported that the large food warmer, valued at $3,500, was still in the truck when it was located along the freeway.
The report stated that the driver’s side door lock was broken and found on the ground at the site and that it wasn’t necessary to have a key to start the 1994 F-450 truck. The truck had 36 gallons of fuel in it, school district officials told police.
The fact the truck was missing was discovered by district head cook Pamela Bowman when she arrived for work Monday morning. When the truck couldn’t be located in the district, the stolen vehicle report was made.