A non-profit daycare had to scramble to change plans for its charges today after discovering a thief had taken the catalytic converter from the organization’s bus.
The children at the Nanaimo Innovation Academy would normally be riding to a forest for a walk but instead, they’re learning today about broken busses and theft.
“We’re going to have to wait until it gets fixed and until then we walk,” said one of the teachers to the kids.
Daycare staff say the converter was stolen sometime between last Friday and this past Wednesday.
“We’ve reported it to police and ICBC and now we have to find a tow truck big enough to tow our bus to our mechanics and get it repaired,” said Keely Freeman, the daycare’s Manager.
Freeman says it’s the fourth time they’ve been hit by thieves in four months.
They’ve installed video surveillance, added signage and will start parking their bus in a different location in the future.
“I’m not sure there’s much more I can do except I think it’s a bigger societal problem that’s happening right now,” said Freeman.
The problem of theft extends beyond the Nanaimo Innovation Academy to other non-profits in the city as well. In the past year, the Boys and Girls Club has also been hit several times by thieves and vandals.
Nanaimo RCMP says stolen catalytic converters are an ongoing issue.
“We have a number stolen every year and they’re being stolen for the precious metals and they’re taken at scrap metal yards. It’s a very sad situation. The criminals don’t care,” said Cst. Gary O’Brien of Nanaimo RCMP.
Police note that there are some precautions vehicle owners can take.
“One is to put an identifying mark on them like a serial number also if you know what you’re doing they can be welded to the exhaust system to make them harder to be stolen,” said O’Brien.
Back at the non-profit daycare, they say the extra costs of thefts end up being added to the cost of operating when child care is already expensive.