Catalytic converter theft can be debilitating for anyone. For individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who rely on specialized vehicles to get from place to place, it brings their mobility and access to the community to a screeching halt.
Over the course of the past two years, 20 catalytic converters have been stolen off Koinonia vehicles, costing the organization over $20,000 in insurance deductibles. Additionally, Koinonia has had to cancel the day program on multiple occasions due to the lack of vehicles able to pick up individuals.
“Individuals with IDD and physical barriers rely on Koinonia transportation to attend vocational programs, medical appointments, and overall daily community integration,” said Director of Transportation Services Maureen Schroeder. “Each time a converter is stolen, not only does it cost Koinonia to pay for replacement, but it also deeply impacts individuals-served because they miss work, miss important medical appointments, and keeps them home bound. ”
Koinonia’s Transportation Department has implemented numerous safeguards to prevent thefts from happening, going above and beyond to protect these vehicles. Still, catalytic converters continue to be taken.
“This is so disturbing and must be stopped,” said Transportation Manager Lisa Manthey. “So many organizations that transport individuals with IDD have also had convertors stolen and have had difficulty obtaining the funds to have their vehicles repaired. This is directly hurting the individuals we all serve.”
Channel 19 News aired a segment on a recent theft that occurred on Saturday, April 3. Watch the video here.
If you recognize the men or the car in the below video, please contact the Brooklyn Heights Police Department at 216-741-2700.