Thieves steal catalytic converts from transport vans - KMOV.com

Thieves steal catalytic converts from transport vans

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Scrap metal thieves put nearly half the fleet of transport vans out of service at Southwest Wellness Center by stealing catalytic converters. Credit: KMOV Scrap metal thieves put nearly half the fleet of transport vans out of service at Southwest Wellness Center by stealing catalytic converters. Credit: KMOV
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Scrap metal thieves put nearly half the fleet of transport vans out of service at Southwest Wellness Center in the 3000 block of Park Avenue by stealing catalytic converters.

The business was forced to canceled trips for scores of clients.

Assistant director Mary Parram told News 4, "It really affects people and that's why I'm so frustrated, that's why I'm very, very upset." 

Southwest Wellness Center provides transportation for seniors to their kidney dialysis appointments and for developmental adults who work at shelter workshops. The company serves more than 100 clients a day.

Veronica Byrd's 85-year-old mother has been using the service for eight years. 

"It's very important to her and the whole family," said Byrd.

Drivers noticed the theft when they started their vans at 5:30 a.m. Monday and the vans sounded much louder than normal.

"We had five vans making this noise so another driver looked under there and realized it was the catalytic converter," said Parram.

Parram said the repair costs could run as high as $15,000 and she's spending at least $2400 to rent three vans for a week, till repairs are made. She said there may be surveillance video of the thieves at work that might help police catch the criminals.

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