NewsLocal NewsCleveland Metro

Actions

35 catalytic converters stolen from Cleveland Metropolitan School District buses

School buses
Posted at 12:18 PM, Nov 29, 2021

CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS, Ohio — The Cleveland Metropolitan School is reviewing surveillance video after unknown individuals stole catalytic converters from 35 buses parked at the East 49th Street Depot in Cuyahoga Heights.

A spokesperson for the district said the thefts occurred either Sunday or early Monday morning.

The thieves entered the depot by cutting a hole in the fence.

The district discovered the thefts Monday morning and said the thefts impacted service to 12 public and private schools, which serves about 200 students.

Other buses covered routes, but in some cases, pickups were delayed or parents had to transport their children to school.

News 5 has reported extensively on the growing thefts of catalytic converters, including ones stolen from local charities and daycare centers. In Streetsboro, News 5 reported thieves took catalytic converters from three of the city’s SUVs overnight on Veterans Day.

The thefts aren't just a problem in Northeast Ohio. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which tracks insurance claims, reports of catalytic converter thefts skyrocketed 325% between 2019 and 2020.

NICB said insurance claims connected to the thefts rose from 3,389 in 2019 to 14,433 last year.

Experts believe catalytic converters are attractive to thieves because they contain a number of precious metals and can earn crooks between $50 and $250 when they're sold for scrap according to NICB.

The group cites rising prices for precious metals as one potential reason for the growth in cases.

NICB also said high-profile vehicles like buses can be attractive targets because they're often easier for thieves to climb under and cut away the part.

RELATED:

Catalytic converters stolen from Streetsboro city vehicles parked outside City Hall

A nonprofit falls victim to catalytic converter theft twice leaving students with no rides

In-Depth: Catalytic converter thefts skyrocket in Northeast Ohio

Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.

You can also catch News 5 Cleveland on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live and more. We're also on Amazon Alexa devices. Learn more about our streaming options here.