Local non-profit ravaged by catalytic converter thefts

Nearly half of inventory vandalized in past month
Catalytic Converter Thefts
Posted at 11:43 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-13 23:43:38-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Hit time after time with major thefts, a local non-profit has been ravaged by multiple catalytic converter thefts.

It's been devastating for Eggleston, an organization that provides job training, education and employment services for disabled adults.

They tell us that in the last month, they've had nearly half of their inventory vandalized.

Since the Memorial Day weekend, they’ve been robbed four times.

Five vehicles were stolen off their lots, and so far, only one has been recovered.

They also say they’ve had 30 catalytic converters taken from vehicles.

Usually, they have about 60 vehicles on hand, so roughly half of their inventory has been vandalized in less than a month.

Part of their fundraising efforts comes from auto auctions they hold at the Eggleston Automotive Center so they can raise money to subsidize programs for people with disabilities that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

The manager for the auto center says all these thefts have jeopardized their ability to hold those auctions and raise the funds they need to keep running.

“The theft and vandalism has been absolutely devastating, and it's jeopardizing our ability to provide services in the community,” said the manager for the Eggleston Auto Center, Paul Atkinson Jr.

“As part of our regular lot maintenance and preparing the vehicles prior to auction, we've come in to discover week after week that we've been robbed. They're not just stealing from us, they're really stealing from the community - the disabled people to whom we provide services," he said.

Atkinson added that he knows it’s a huge problem all throughout the community right now, but it’s different for them, because as a non-profit, they just don’t have the resources to protect themselves from these crimes or the ease to bounce back from them the way other businesses can.

Eggleston has been providing these services for people in our community since 1955. They tell us they’ve never encountered anything like this, and it’s made their future very uncertain.

If you’d like to help, they accept donations - whether it’s your time, an old car you’re not using or monetary aid. You can check out ways to donate here.

Related: 'We are in desperate need'; Newport News nonprofit hit by catalytic converter theft