Catalytic converters stolen from church vans in Stanford

Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 3:06 PM EDT
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STANFORD, Ky. (WKYT) - A thief may have been looking to cash in, so he targeted a church. Police in Lincoln County say a man cut off catalytic converters from four church vans-- at just one church.

Church vans and buses aren’t being used as much since the pandemic started in March, and Pastor Tom Graef says it’s actually remarkable they even noticed the damage.

“So one of the members let me know one of the exhausts was hanging off one of the buses,” said Pastor Graef at Grace Fellowship Church.

But a closer look revealed the catalytic converters had been cut off not just from that van, but the other three as well.

“I know people feel desperate during these times,” Graef said.

Possibly unknown to the thief, seen in a blue shirt in a black Ford SUV, the church has surveillance video. He first cut off converters on Sept. 1 then, came back to finish the job in the middle of the day on the 4th.

“I feel concern for people like this gentleman, who did this, that are not even afraid to rob a church to support their habit,” Graef said.

Graef says they bought the vans to help people, possibly even those like the man who went to extremes to steal from a church.

“We’re not saying this because we are angry,” Graef said. “We are saying because we want people to be warned and and be checking their vehicles.”

Stanford police are investigating and say they know of at least one other area church that was hit.

Police say thieves will cut catalytic converters to sell the metal at recycling centers.

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