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West Seneca police investigating catalytic converter thefts

Posted at 6:22 PM, Dec 27, 2021

WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Police in West Seneca are looking for the person who stole four catalytic converters from Aspire of WNY.

“It’s a significant impact because the vehicles are offline until we can get the catalytic converters back,” said Renee Filip, the President and CEO of Aspire.

The shadowy figure was caught on surveillance camera at Aspire’s Clinton Street maintenance center.

“We support people with developmental disabilities and those trucks are valuable to us to be able to maintain the facilities where they live,” she said of Aspire’s 46 group homes and facilities.

Filip says this isn’t the first time thieves have hit Aspire. In February, someone stole six catalytic converters. Adding the four, Aspire says it’s out close to $15,000, as each are worth $1,500 a piece.

“It’s difficult on an agency that can’t raise the cost to accommodate these things,” Filip said.

Scott Fesler from Park Ridge Auto Care says you can protect yourself from this theft by taking a few steps.

“People can take a high temperature paint and paint it, and etch the VIN number on it that will deter the thieves,” said Fesler.

Catalytic converters can be worth anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to thousands a piece because each has precious metals inside.

Police in West Seneca say this trend of stealing them is on the rise.

In 2018, the department saw five thefts, but over the last few years it’s grown significantly. In 2020, West Seneca police say there were more than 20 catalytic converters stolen. This year, the department says it is close to 15.

Detectives are still searching for the person who stole Aspire’s catalytic converters.