Crime

3 Tri-Citians went to a food bank for groceries. Police say it wasn’t a hand-out, but theft

Fields of Grace glean peppers from CBC agricultural test fields in Pasco

Rob Koenig, Fields of Grace volunteer coordinator, talks about the volunteer effort to pick donated peppers from Columbia Basin College agricultural test fields for the St. Vincent de Paul food bank in Pasco. The volunteers picked about 1,700-poun
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Rob Koenig, Fields of Grace volunteer coordinator, talks about the volunteer effort to pick donated peppers from Columbia Basin College agricultural test fields for the St. Vincent de Paul food bank in Pasco. The volunteers picked about 1,700-poun

Three Tri-Citians are accused of entering the fenced compound of a Pasco food bank and walking off with a bag full of groceries and other items.

The alleged burglary around noon on Aug. 6 was not the normal distribution day for St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank and the food bank was closed to the public at that time.

So when an employee noticed two men and a woman on the 215 S. Sixth Ave. property without permission, she called police.

Officer Conrad Christenson arrived to find Darcee E. Sanchez, Ali M. Issa and Felipe Ramirez Lua outside the gate with the food items.

Food boxes and clothes and household items are distributed from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Wednesday to Franklin County and Burbank residents, according to the nonprofit’s Facebook page.

Court documents claim Sanchez, Issa and Lua checked all of the doors around the building until they found an open door to the area where the food is stored.

Sanchez and Lua went into the stock room and, without permission, removed food and handed it off to Issa, documents said.

The trio allegedly took two watermelons, a bag of apples, three sports drinks and the bag of groceries.

Sanchez, 53, of Pasco, and Issa, 44, of Kennewick, both have been charged in Franklin County Superior Court with second-degree burglary.

Sanchez also uses the last name of Salazar, court documents show. Her bail was set Monday at $1,500.

Lua, 44, of Pasco, was charged with second-degree burglary and possession of methamphetamine.

Both Issa and Lua have been released from custody without bail.

All three are scheduled to appear Aug. 13 to enter a plea to the charges.

Kristin M. Kraemer covers the judicial system and crime issues for the Tri-City Herald. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years in Washington and California.
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