Catalytic converter thefts from buses delays school start times in Wolcott

Catalytic converters stolen from school buses in Wolcott
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 8:06 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WOLCOTT, Conn. (WFSB) - Catalytic converter thefts from eight smaller school buses delayed school start times for some students Monday in Wolcott.

According to police, the thefts were discovered early Monday morning.

School officials said the bus pickup for any child who rides any bus that is smaller than a regular full-size bus was delayed 3 hours.

All other buses will run on their normal schedule and schools will open on their normal schedule.

“Today eight small buses in Wolcott catalytic converters were cutoff, and now the people that did ride those buses, whatever routes they covered, are delayed for three hours,” said Wolcott Police Chief Edward Stephens.

Thieves spent 44 minutes Sunday morning stealing catalytic converters off school buses at the All-Star Transportation lot.

“But it does create a lot of problems for again whether it’s a homeowner, whether it’s a bus company, school department, police department, and this is throughout the state,” said Stephens.

Stephens said the process can take just minutes but cost thousands of dollars and a huge headache for those left without the essential parts.

“The way these thieves do it, they’ll go under a vehicle, a higher vehicle is easier for them, they just make two cuts with a Sawzall, Sawzall cut one cut two, its done very very quick,” Stephens said.

Stephen Gardner, General Manager with All-Star Transportation, said these criminals are hurting some of the most innocent members of our society.

“It’s terrible, because at the end of the day it affects the kids, and their ability to get to school, and they’ve already had a hard enough time over the last couple of years getting to school so I feel bad for them,” said Gardner.

The buses will have to be towed and fixed, causing a domino effect for everyone involved.

“It disrupts their day, it disrupts their parents’ day, it disrupts our company functions, we’re trying to run our vehicles and maintain our fleet and now we have to replace eight catalytic converters and it’s a lot of money and a big inconvenience,” Gardner said.

Stephens said he’s confident those who commit the crime, will be caught.

“We also work with other local agencies, we share information, we share with the state police, we share with our federal partners, all law enforcement is involved, and sharing information because a lot of this stuff is going out of state,” said Stephens.

Stay with Eyewitness News for more information as soon as it becomes available.