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NK Fishline victim of gasoline theft

Fishline director Karen Timken and her husband Mark ax out contaminated soil that spilled from a gas theft at the food bank Wednesday. Theives punched a hole in the tank and contanimated a 50 sq foot patch of gravel. A city of Poulsbo crew showed up later in the morning and volunteered time to finish and dispose of the gravel. - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
Fishline director Karen Timken and her husband Mark ax out contaminated soil that spilled from a gas theft at the food bank Wednesday. Theives punched a hole in the tank and contanimated a 50 sq foot patch of gravel. A city of Poulsbo crew showed up later in the morning and volunteered time to finish and dispose of the gravel.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

t City of Poulsbo sends work force to help clean up contaminated soil.

POULSBO — It was the pungent smell of gasoline that first caught the attention of North Kitsap Fishline director Karen Timken Wednesday morning.

Thursday morning, the odor remained as Timken and volunteers removed an area of contaminated soil seeped in gasoline after thieves punctured one of the food bank’s trucks and stole fuel from inside it Tuesday night. The thieves spilled a large amount of the gasoline — 30 gallons according to the Poulsbo Fire Department — which spread over 50 square feet of the non-profit’s parking lot.

Timken said police believe the crime was planned. They said a utility bucket was cut to fit underneath the truck’s tank.

“It’s not nice to take from a food bank, of all things,” Timken said while shoveling away tainted soil early Thursday. “It’s the pits.”

Kitsap County Health District officials required Fishline to replace the polluted gravel by Thursday afternoon.

The city of Poulsbo sent forces to help, offering three workers, a back hoe, truck, gravel and hauling services.

“They totally took care of us,” Timken said.

The truck, a large Ford box vehicle, is one Fishline uses mainly for major food drives. Timken said the amount of gas stolen, and potential cost to repair the truck, aren’t yet known. If volunteers hadn’t completed cleanup by Thursday afternoon, Fishline would have had to hire an outside firm to do the job.

Last year, the food bank served more than 50,000 people in the North End. Recently, client services coordinator Rae Rodriquez told the Herald client numbers rose 20 percent since January. While more are turning to Fishline for its services, the food bank itself faces the same rise in fuel and food costs, as well as a decrease in donations because contributors have less to give.

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