Nearly $4,000 worth of donated meat was stolen from an outdoor freezer at a Seattle food bank Friday night.
Providence Regina House food bank in South Park feeds hundreds of families.
“Not only did they break the lock off, there was a padlock here but they broke the whole mechanism,” said Paige Collins, Providence Regina House manager.
Between 15 and 17 bins of food were taken the night before the food bank’s busiest distribution day. On Saturday, hundreds of families lined up around the block for food baskets. About 550 families or up to 3,000 people are served each week.
“It’s a total bummer,” said Collins.
According to Collins, the stealer is no stranger. It’s believed he's a client. The man is in his early 20s was spotted trying to sell the stolen meat at a bus stop the night of the burglary.
“It hurts your feelings at the same time, and it sucks you’re like oh I feed him. It’s so wrong,” said Collins.
“It’s like robbing from all of the community, from everybody,” said Rocio Camacho, who receives assistance from the food bank.
News of the theft is upsetting to other clients.
“I’d punch him and maybe run away. I don’t know what he looks like but I’d do something,” said Camacho.
Community members appalled by the crime are also taking action.
“Once word got around it was like, let’s get them. The neighborhood is very protective of the food bank,” said Collins.
Neighbors have even offered to guard the freezer.
Financial donations, many upwards of $100 each, are coming in. While a surveillance camera is pointed towards the freezer, the food bank doesn’t have access to the video yet.
Collins estimates fixing the freezer’s lock will cost about $500, until that’s done, meat won’t be stored there.