‘It’s disheartening’: Edmonton-area non-profit target for catalytic converter thefts

An Edmonton-area non-profit is feeling frustrated after three catalytic converters were stolen from its fleet within 10 days.

“You know the first time I think you take it in stride… the second time… this weekend I was very upset,” Ann Marie Lepan, the CEO for the Robin Hood Association, said.

“As soon as the driver called me and said his vehicle sounded like a Harley Davidson I knew exactly what had happened,” Koreen Beaumont, the manager of transportation services at the Robin Hood Association, added.

Lepan said the organization provides about 2,600 trips per day between Fort Saskatchewan and Sherwood Park between their 16 vehicles, serving up to 350 adults and 350 children with developmental disabilities to get to appointments, work or to volunteer.

“We pride ourselves on being an effective service for the clients that we provide supports to, and when you have to discontinue that or modify it and people are not provided with what they would like to have or need to have, it’s very discouraging for us,” Beaumont added.

The cost to fix all three vans will run the organization up to $15,000, money both Beaumont and Lepan say they just don’t have.

“This is three of our vehicles in the last week that came off the road and have to be repaired and they’re already an aging fleet; it’s not something we’ve got endless resources for,” Lepan said.

“This is just another problem to deal with.”

According to Beaumont, the thief isn’t just taking the catalytic converter, they’re also snagging other valuable parts like mufflers from the vans.

“Whatever they can get their hands on they’re taking,” she said.

The organization has also been actively trying to deter vandalism by beefing up security with cameras and flood lights, but so far that hasn’t helped.

“We have been proactive,” Lepan explained. “You feel like you’re constantly safeguarding your own property.”

“It’s disheartening that people have this desperation that they target a not-for-profit.”

If anyone has information regarding these thefts, call Strathcona RCMP at 780-467-7749.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Jessica Robb 

View original article here Source