Catalytic Converter theft puts non-profit charity in a rough patch

NOW: Catalytic Converter theft puts non-profit charity in a rough patch


MISHAWKA, Ind -- The Habitat for Humanity Restore of Mishawaka has been targeted 3 times for catalytic converters, which is now costing them over $16,000.

The recent theft marks the third time since April of 2020, making times rougher than they already are.

"The reason why that’s such a big deal is those trucks are what we send out to pickup donations and we sell those items in the stores and the profits go to help us build houses," said CEO of Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph Jim Williams.

Houses that are made available for those who have a hard time paying for a home.

"Each time it happens it cost of four-thousand dollars per truck," said Williams.

Money that’s meant to build homes, not to repair and replace, what was stolen and broken.

"Those trucks pickup about four-thousand dollars of product per week. That’s valuable and when we miss out on that. When those trucks aren’t running. That really hurts our ability to help families," said Williams.

"Wow, I don’t think that’s right and I hope they catch them. A lot of people need assistance, not just this time of year but year around and to do something so seemingly innocuous, really impacts a large amount of the community," said Restore customer Shawndra Rutledge.

Now what started as theft against the restore, has turned into stealing from those in the Michiana community.

"So we’ve already spent $16,000 replacing catalytic converters since April of last year. Now we do have insurance, but we happens is we have to pay a deductible.," said Williams.

Deductibles that lead to thousands more for insurance and even having to rent trucks to pickup donations.

But regardless of what feels like a snowball affect habitat has their eyes forward.

"Hey you can’t keep habitat down. We’re going to figure it out but we just want the community to know that this happened and we actually need that money to go to building houses. Not replacing catalytic converters," said Williams.

If you want to help Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph, text "Habitat" to 243725.

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