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Catalytic converters stolen off of Wolcott school buses once again

Early Tuesday, the same seven mini-buses, that had their catalytic converters stolen last month, were hit again.

WOLCOTT, Conn. — A Wolcott bus yard has once again become a target of thieves stealing catalytic converters. So the local police department says they will pay even closer attention to the lot moving forward.

Early Tuesday, the same seven mini-buses, that had their catalytic converters stolen last month, were hit again.

 "Around 1:50 in the morning a black vehicle pulled in and it's very similar to the one that was there in June," said Chief Edward Stephens of the Wolcott Police Department. "They were in the lot for about 25 minutes or half an hour."

RELATED: Milford catalytic converter theft suspect attacks witness with Sawzall: Police

 It costs approximately $1,500 per converter to replace, according to All-Star Transportation, which owns and operates the buses that were vandalized. And right after this theft, three more vehicles nearby had converters stolen, including two at the Wolcott Inn and Suites.

"We came out to run some errands for the day and when we got the truck we started it and it was really loud," said Gary Pitre, a motel guest. "I looked underneath to see why it was so loud and my converters were missing on my truck."

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The same thing happened to the other vehicle his wife was driving. A new state law took effect July 1 aiming to discourage this trend.

"What it (law) does is it makes it so folks that are in the industry of purchasing catalytic converters have to document the sale," said State. Sen. Rob Sampson (R-Wolcott), noted the documentation is necessary to prove that the seller is the actual owner

RELATED: Wolcott police search for suspects in catalytic converter thefts

"We said we could do this but then we kind of sat back and said the best way to attack this is not to be part of it," said David Shaw of Albert Bros. of Waterbury, which is the state's largest metals recycler.

Before they stopped taking in catalytic converters, Shaw said the company paid customers anywhere from $15 to $65 per converter.

"Effective 7/1 (when the law took effect), we stopped purchasing any converters with the hopes of deterring any type of misconduct in the community," Shaw added.

Tony Terzi is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tterzi@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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