Chicken found aboard stolen food bank trucks

Trucks contained 57,000 lbs of frozen chicken
June 25, 2008 7:36:09 AM PDT
Trucks stolen while holding tons of chicken for a food bank have been found with the food.

The trucks were stolen during the weekend, containing about 57,000 pounds of frozen chicken that was donated by the Perdue chicken company.

Police found the trucks this morning in Jersey City, New Jersey. The trucks were running and the food was still inside. Officials are checking the frozen chicken to see if it is still OK for people to eat.

Dark, grainy surveillance video from the Food Bank of Delaware's facility in Newark, Delaware is in the hands of police who have been using to try to find the suspects.

The value of the chick and the trucks was nearly $500,000. With demand up, donations down and an 8% cut in state funding, the theft was devastating blow to the Food Bank of Delaware.

Patricia Beebe of the Food Bank of Delaware tells Action News, "We have a decrease in funding. We have theft. We're paying more for food. We have a decreased amount of donated product and we have demand going up? gas is through the roof."

The food bank distributes 10 million pounds of food to Delaware's poor each year. Thousands of prepared meals are designated each month for children in after school hunger relief programs and to cooperating agencies in the summertime.

The state police say they are sickened by this enormous theft and are certain that professionals pulled off this caper.

Delaware State Police Corporal Jeff Whitmarsh says, "It's obviously a person who knows how to operate this type of equipment. Not only that, but the other trailer that was stolen was not attached. So has to be someone who not only can drive a rig, but knows how to hook it up to an additional trailer."

The police have an all points bulletin out all along the East Coast for the missing vehicles. The food bank's relief programs provide for nearly 90,000 Delaware people at risk of going without meals each year.

The agency is now in desperate need of donations. If you like to contribute, call (302) 292-1305.