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Virginia Beach ministry becomes victim of catalytic converter theft

hope4life catalytic converter.jpg
Posted at 3:23 PM, Jul 21, 2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Thieves across the country have been targeting vehicles for their catalytic converters, and now, a ministry in Virginia Beach is one of the latest victims of this kind.

Hope4Life is a ministry that works with expecting mothers. It offers free pregnancy tests and free ultrasounds, as well as other financial assistance. Volunteers work out of mobile units (RVs) that have a converted, private space to perform ultrasounds.

“I didn’t know what drew me at first to this ministry, but once I started coming and praying outside Planned Parenthood, I just felt called to do this,” said volunteer Laura Pickett. “To be able to interact with the moms and be a source of love and support for them, that’s really what keeps me going.”

However, their newest mobile unit is in the shop getting a new catalytic converter after someone stole the part while it was parked in a locked enclosure.

Cheri Britt, executive director for Hope4Life Virginia, said the enclosure was just installed a few weeks ago and it was paid for through a donor as well as money raised by a local Knights of Columbus chapter.

“They were just fearless. They just went in there still, knowing they’d be caught on tape,” Britt stated.

She added that perhaps they didn’t realize their car would also be seen on the video and that she’s hopeful it will help police solve this crime.

“It really bothers me because we’re a ministry that helps families in need, and there are so many families in crisis right now that need our services like diapers and free medical services and direction to other places where they can go and get other medical needs that women have,” explained Britt. “What they’ve done is set other people back by vandalizing the ministry. And what these vandals don’t realize is they’re taking from people who truly need and need help.”

Related: How to protect property after rash of catalytic converter thefts in Hampton Roads

Britt tells News 3 they've been using the older mobile unit for now, and the newer one is expected to be back in service on Thursday. She stated the repairs cost approximately $1,200.

For more information on Hope4Life, click here.