Thieves have targeted a truck used to feed the hungry in Spokane County.
Three heavy-duty batteries were stolen Monday from the Feed Spokane truck. The batteries were used to run the truck and its lift gate and refrigeration system.
The truck is used to pick up extra food from restaurants and stores and redistribute it to area soup kitchens and meal programs to prevent it from going to waste. The food collected is stored at the Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels kitchen in east Spokane.
Feed Spokane is a coalition of nonprofits that address hunger issues, said Pam Almeida, executive director of Greater Spokane County Meals on Wheels.
The theft is a financial blow to the organization, which has already seen a decrease in donations since the recession, she said.
“Why prey on the most vulnerable? We’re doing a good thing, and that’s what’s really frustrating,” she said.
Feed Spokane currently distributes food to about 20 meal programs.
Almeida is still determining the cost of replacing the batteries and repairing the battery terminals, which were damaged in the theft.
The batteries were stolen from the Haney Trucking Yard at 5800 E. Railroad Ave. in Spokane Valley.
Battery thefts aren’t uncommon. Thieves can recycle the battery cores and get up to $10 each, said Spokane County sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Craig Chamberlin.
Spokane Valley property crimes detectives said last week that thieves stole more than 200 vehicle batteries from fenced-in areas at both Spokane Valley Wal-Marts over a two-month period.
Those thefts have not been solved, Chamberlin said.
Anyone with information on the battery thefts should call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.