Thieves across multiple NC counties targeting church vans for catalytic converters

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SHELBY, N.C. (WBTV) – There’s a growing problem across some parts of the state and in some instances, it’s been caught on camera.

On surveillance video from one church in Shelby, there are two thieves who slide under some vans and officials say they’re going after the catalytic converters.

“It’s troublesome,” said Major Joel Shores with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office.

Shores also said this isn’t the first time this has happened. Seven other churches have reported the same thing.

“They’re not after the catalytic converter to put on another car. They’re after it to take it apart to get the platinum,” said Shores.

Shores believes the thieves are taking the precious metal to sell for quick cash. One ounce of platinum will get you just about $850.

It seems like the thieves aren’t just targeting churches. A woman at a business in Shelby says someone came and ripped the catalytic converter off her Ford F-250.

The same woman reported the crime on the sheriff department’s Facebook page.

Just last week someone went after the catalytic converters on three vans that belonged to the Boys and Girls club in Gastonia. WBTV’s Bria Bell spoke to Chad Melvin, the CEO, about it because without those vans, it pretty much made it impossible for the club to make sure students were picked up from school on time.

“I don’t think they understand,” said Melvin in reference to the setback thieves caused.

Officials don’t know if the guys in the surveillance video are responsible for each reported theft, but they do know that it’s happening in about four different counties.

“I’ve been in contact with Gaston, Mecklenburg, and York County,” said Shores.

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