Police around the region are keeping eyes open, and they're asking the community too as well after a much needed Meals On Wheels van was stolen Wednesday.

According to reports, workers at the Meals On Wheels facility in Richland on Fowler Street were preparing to load the day's cargo when they observed one of their vehicles was missing. A quick check showed nobody from the group had taken it for any purpose and they realized it was stolen.

Officials with Senior Life Resources Northwest, who helps oversee the program, are hoping it at least turns up abandoned and in good shape. The white 1998 van would be easy to spot because of the logos on the sides. Insurance would only cover about $1,000 worth of the vehicle's Blue Book Value, but it would cost the group far more to replace it because of the special ovens and other equipment carried to prepare and transport the food.

It's one of four such vans used by the fleet, it's the oldest, and is usually put into service if they have a breakdown or issue with the other three. But if anything happens now, they will be in a pinch. The van is pictured below. Anyone who may have seen it, is urged to call (509)-628-0333. All leads can be confidential.

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