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Catalytic converter stolen from nonprofit for second time in recent months
Police lights

For the second time in recent months, Creative Enterprises Forsyth, a non-profit organization serving adults with special needs, has had a catalytic converter stolen from one of the organization’s vans.

The latest theft happened at about 8:20 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, where, in a video posted online by the organization, two men can be seen stealing the catalytic converter in less than a minute. 

The video shows two men approaching the vehicle before one climbs under the bus to take the catalytic converter while the other watches out before leaving in a dark-colored SUV. Officials with the Cumming Police Department said no arrests had been made as of press time. 

Creative Enterprises serves about 85 clients who have aged out of local schools, and officials said being down to one bus makes it tougher for clients to volunteer, work and get involved in the community. 

“We use these busses to take out clients on outings to grocery stores, to Target, to Walmart, so they can learn money skills,” Lisa Bennett, manager of the campus, said. “We also go out to eat so they can practice ordering and making sure they have enough money for the order. We go bowling, we go to Dobbs Creek, we go to the movies. We do everything in these buses.”

Bennett said both recent thefts occurred from the same vehicle and, while cameras were installed after the first theft about two months ago, the suspects’ license plate could not be read for the most recent theft. 

“I don’t know what we’re going to do now, either have a gate at both entrances and try to shut people out or build a fence and put the buses in there,” she said. “I don’t know what else to do.”

According to information from The International Association of Auto Theft Investigators and The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc., thefts of catalytic converters, emissions control devices for internal combustion engines, have increased nationwide in recent years.

“Thieves are stealing converters from all types of vehicles and will make between $50 and $875 per converter depending on the type and the precious metals content,” the release said. “Many lower emission/hybrid vehicles contain higher amounts of precious metals that are currently trading at all-time high prices which is the catalyst for the increase in this crime.

“Some larger vehicles have multiple catalytic converters which make them prey for the theft. The cost to the vehicle’s owner to repair can be several thousand dollars.”

The groups recommend engraving or marking catalytic converters, which often do not have serial numbers, to deter thefts and make the devices more identifiable.

Anyone who has any information about the theft can contact the Cumming Police Department at (770) 781-2000.

For more information about Creative Enterprises or to donate, go to CreativeEnterprises.org.