Catalytic converter thefts impact local food banks

·2 min read

May 16—MOSES LAKE — Thieves stole a catalytic converter from a truck at the Moses Lake Food Bank on May 8, a theft that has consequences beyond the immediate damage, said food bank director Peny Archer.

"(The theft) means we're having it repaired, which basically means there's less food we can buy," Archer said.

The theft occurred about 5 a.m. on May 8, according to information from the Moses Lake Police Department. Two unidentified suspects were walking east on Marina Drive, the report said. One of the two walked over to the truck, which was parked next to the food bank facility.

"The suspect removed the catalytic converter, placed it inside his dark colored backpack and left, walking westbound on Marina," the report said. "The second suspect rejoined him and also went westbound."

Archer said Thursday she didn't have an estimate on replacement, but whatever the final bill, it will be an expense that food bank operators weren't expecting. The truck was used for deliveries. The food bank has a second truck available, but its operating costs are higher, Archer said.

"For Heaven's sake, we're a food bank," she said.

Othello Food Bank director Sharon Mobley said thieves recently vandalized the truck belonging to her organization as well, taking its catalytic converter. In a separate incident, thieves broke into the food bank's shed, although they didn't steal anything.

"It's really sad that people have to go around breaking things and robbing people," Mobley said.

Mobley said the truck is being repaired, but is still drivable.

"It just sounds like a great big old logging truck," she said.

Othello Food Bank officials are considering adding more security around the facility, she said.

Archer said that while it's an unexpected expense, it won't affect food bank operations.

"We just keep plugging along. We've got people to feed," she said.

Mobley said much the same for the Othello location.

"As long as we can operate, we'll just keep going forward," Mobley said.

To find out more about the food banks or to donate to help repair the vehicles, visit mlfood.org or facebook.com/othellofoodbank/.

Catalytic converter thefts are a problem nationwide and the Washington Legislature recently passed a law to help law enforcement fight such crimes. Find out more at https://bit.ly/CBHCONVERTERS.