It's been nearly 2 weeks since the 'backup' van used by Meals on Wheels of Tri-Cities was stolen from their facility.

Officials now say it was found abandoned on a downtown Seattle street, it's still in solid operating condition, but...

Authorities and Meals on Wheels officials say the meal prep and transportation equipment was all stripped out, some $5,800 worth. Then the bare cargo area was apparently stuffed with marijuana for transport. Officials say traces of the plants as well as an powerful pungent scent is 'embedded' into the fabric and interior.

The vehicle will require decontamination to rid it of the smell as well as sanitary issues so it can be eventually pressed back into service carrying for for the program. Besides the pot smell, locks were broken and have to be replaced, the license plates were missing, a tampered steering column (probably from trying to hotwire it) and other damages. Authorities are still investigating.

While this 1998 van was not a primary vehicle, it was used often when others were disabled or needed for other uses. Officials are not sure how long it will take to return it to serviceable condition. This is the van below, before it was stolen (Courtesy


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