Stolen truck in Washington tests positive for meth, fentanyl

A Washington family’s relief over the return of their stolen truck quickly turned into shock and fear.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 7:32 AM PDT
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WASHINGTON. (KPTV) - A Washington family’s relief over the return of their stolen truck quickly turned into shock and fear when a drug test revealed unsafe levels of hard drugs inside the vehicle.

The incident began in July when their truck was stolen from a Lowe’s parking lot in Federal Way, south of Seattle. It was then returned seemingly undamaged last month.

A friend of the Culver family, who had also fallen victim to car theft, suggested they have the truck tested for drugs. Jake Culver, the truck’s owner, hadn’t considered this possibility, but he decided to get it tested using the same company his insurance uses for biohazard testing. The results were alarming, with traces of methamphetamine measuring eight times above the safe exposure limit and levels of fentanyl considered twice as high as acceptable.

The revelation shocked the Culvers, who have three children.

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“My wife just broke down in tears when I told her the results of the test,” Jake Culver said. “My heart sank. I mean, I pictured... I have a five-year-old daughter. I mean, I got older boys too, I mean at that young age, you know, if she had inhaled the fentanyl or something like that, I mean who knows where we would be right now.”

Culver stated that his children experienced sleep disruptions, upset stomachs, and he himself suffered headaches after a few drives in the contaminated vehicle. Fortunately, the family had the truck for less than a week before having it tested, but any exposure to such high drug levels poses a significant health risk.

The Culvers were surprised that their insurance company had not made it clear that testing for dangerous drugs was an option. They hope their experience serves as a warning to others - if your stolen vehicle is recovered, consider having it tested for potential hazards.