Vandalized Bay Area food bank trucks rendered inoperable

Five trucks used by the San Francisco Marin Food bank to deliver meals to hungry people were targeted by a vandal, making them inoperable.

Four of the trucks belonged to the nonprofit. The fifth was a rental. 

This attack comes at a time when there is unprecedented need, amidst high unemployment brought on by the pandemic.

The food bank says someone poured an acid-like detergent into the trucks' gas tanks.

The vandalism was discovered Monday morning.

Police tell KTVU they're investigating a strong lead and that they're confident they'll catch the person responsible.

Roger Krakow, a deacon with St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Marin City says the sabotage caused a minor delay in delivery to its food pantry during its weekly Monday food giveaway.

"25 to 30 percent more hungry people are coming to us now than before the pandemic hit so it's even more important that we get this food to our clients," says Krakow.

The food bank says it was able to quickly rent delivery vehicles so food programs would not be interrupted.

In a written statement, it said, "We are shocked and heartbroken about the situation. We'd also like to reassure our participants in Marin that all of our food pantries are still operating as usual."

Krakow says the church's pantry provides food for 75 clients. Many are low-income families and the homeless.

"This is extremely malicious," says Sergeant Justin Graham with San Rafael Police.

He says there is surveillance video of the vandalism taking place between 5 and 6 o'clock Sunday morning.

He describes the suspect as a man with a light complexion,  wearing a black shirt and black shorts vandalizing the trucks. 

"I would consider this almost sacred ground. It's  an organization that benefits everybody. There's no excuse for it. There's no reason for it," says Sgt. Graham. 

Krakow says he suspects the vandal may be someone upset with the food bank and retaliating or trying to send a message.  

"Shame on you. If it was a hate crime, it's unbelievable," says Krakow, "If you don't feel that hungry people should be fed, you're not human."

Food bank officials say they do not know how long the repairs will take or how much it will cost.

If caught, police say the person responsible will face felony charges of tampering with a vehicle and vandalism.