April 23, 2024 8:17 pm

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To catch a thief: Catalytic converter stolen from Lynnwood Food Bank truck

LYNNWOOD, Wash., May 11, 2023—Surveillance video shows that at approximately 7:08 a.m. on Sunday morning, May 7, a man covered from head-to-toe, stole the catalytic converter off of the food truck of the Lynnwood Food Bank

“We may have to adjust some of our mobile distributions due to this gentleman stealing our catalytic converter from our food truck. Feel free to let Lynnwood Police know if you recognize him,” a post to the nonprofit’s Facebook page reads.

Members of the food bank were unaware of the theft until the afternoon of Thursday, May 11, in preparation for food deliveries. The truck is used to distribute food to vulnerable communities in South Lynnwood. The truck has refrigeration and a freezer that allows the Lynnwood Food Bank to offer many of the same foods one will find at their physical location behind the Silver Creek Family Church at 5326 176th St SW.

Suspect in the theft of the catalytic converter from the Lynnwood Food Bank Truck. SOURCE: Lynnwood Food Bank.

Alissa Jones, Executive Director and Vice President of the Lynnwood Food Bank, shared with the Lynnwood Times that half of the food bank trucks in the county have been hit by catalytic converter thieves.

“[He] must be desperate for money; the reason why he is desperate, I don’t know,” Alissa said. “I find it disheartening that someone would steal from those who help the community.”

Suspect in the theft of the catalytic converter from the Lynnwood Food Bank Truck. SOURCE: Lynnwood Food Bank.

The truck delivers food to 150 households of the total 850 per week the Lynnwood Food Bank serves.

“People are hurting in Lynnwood,” Alissa said. “More people need help now than before COVID. It is really sad so many people need help.”

Alissa explained that shortly after EBT benefits were cut for COVID, the Lynnwood Food Bank experienced its largest need in the organization’s 45-year history.

“In March we provided food to over 3,700 households, that is approximately 13,000 residents,” Alissa told the Lynnwood Times.

In April alone, the Food Bank provided nutritional needs to almost 10,000 individuals.

Suspect in the theft of the catalytic converter from the Lynnwood Food Bank Truck. SOURCE: Lynnwood Food Bank.

The suspect appears to be male, 5-feet 7-inches tall, wearing a blue puffer jacket, blue jean, black shoes, and orange socks.

The alleged thief first arrived an hour earlier around 6 a.m. to scout the location with his dog. The dog is described as dark color, medium size or knee-high in height. The dog was in the back seat of the getaway vehicle when the suspect returned to steal the catalytic converter. The suspect’s vehicle is a charcoal grey Toyota Corolla.

Suspect’s car in the theft of the catalytic converter from the Lynnwood Food Bank Truck. SOURCE: Lynnwood Food Bank.

Alissa shared that they would use the box truck to make some deliveries when it is available. The food bank’s box truck is used to pick up food donations at predetermined times and locations which is going to create a huge conflict, Alissa said. The box truck also lacks refrigeration.

Suspect’s car in the theft of the catalytic converter from the Lynnwood Food Bank Truck. SOURCE: Lynnwood Food Bank.

The Lynnwood Food Bank is awaiting the lead-time and cost for the part and installation.  She hopes it doesn’t take more than a month for the Food Bank to be back in service. The truck was acquired in 2021 thanks to a grant in 2020 from the City of Lynnwood and Verdant Health Commission. It was purchased for over $100,000.

Lynnwood Food Bank truck at the Verdant Health reopening in May of 2022. Lynnwood Times | Kienan Briscoe.

Residents can help by donating money towards the purchase of a new catalytic converter, Alissa said. The Lynnwood Food Bank can accept checks, cash, or one can go to their website to make an online donation.

Alissa has an appointment with Lynnwood’s Crime Prevention Specialist Nic Li to walk the property and provide advice of making it more secure.

If you would like to volunteer for the Lynnwood Food Bank, check out this editorial from our Senior Reporter, Kienan Briscoe.

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