Catalytic converters stolen from 5 school buses from The Centennial School District in Bucks County, Pennsylvania

WARMINSTER, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — The Centennial School District in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, said five of its school buses recently had their catalytic converters stolen.

“It’s sad because you know we’re on a budget and that’s killing our budget. We really take our budget — not lightly — we stick to it, so it’s going to really weigh on us,” said Karen Morgan, Centennial School District’s director of transportation.

Morgan said she believes the thieves cut a hole in the fence sometime between Saturday night and Monday morning to gain access to the bus lot.

School buses in Moorestown, New Jersey, were hit last month. Police say two suspects stole nine catalytic converters from smaller school buses.

“A catalytic converter is like a big filter that only filters out the pollutants that come off a bus,” said Devindra Nagassar, a mechanic with the Centennial School District.

Thieves get to the bottom of catalytic converters because they contain precious metals with exploding values.

The owner of Coffman’s Service said parking in a well-lit area or investing in a sign can deter would-be thieves, although it’s not a completely secure solution.

“The kits are quite expensive and take time to put on, so you have to weigh that against what you lose,” said Dilworth Coffman, owner of Coffman’s Service.

Coffman said the shields would make your catalyst harder to steal.

“I think it needs to double the time to take them off, at least because they use saws to take them off, so maybe they would have a harder time,” Coffman said.

Coffman added you could put a VIN on your catalytic converter, which would help track it down before the metals melted down.

Warminster Police said catalytic converter thefts had become more common recently. Thefts happen quickly, within minutes.

Police said the stolen converters are generally sold for the scrap and rare metals found inside. Police are asking everyone to be extra vigilant during such activities.

Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All rights reserved. Catalytic converters stolen from 5 school buses from The Centennial School District in Bucks County, Pennsylvania

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