Police posted surveillance video of the crime, saying it occurred on August 13 around 2 a.m.
"When the vans get put out of service... it's going to have a domino effect," said Fred Harran, director of public safety for the Bensalem Police Department. "So not only is this financial loss here, but now folks can't get transported to the proper care they need to be transported to."
A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device located underneath a vehicle. Thieves can cut it out from under a victim's car within minutes in order to get their hands on the metal inside.
"If the insurance company doesn't cover it, you're talking about a loan," said Sean Christian of Fox Chase. "A loan could almost cost you $2,500. That's just the converter itself. It's a shame. Hopefully they can get a handle on it."
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Bensalem police say the theft of catalytic converters is nothing new across the area. In fact, it's currently on the rise.
Harran said thieves sell the catalytic converters for scrap and use the proceeds to buy drugs.
"It's been going on for years," he said.
Officials said it's difficult for drivers to protect their cars aside from keeping them in a garage and warn everyone to stay alert.
"That's scary when it gets close to home," said Peggy Carman of Bensalem. "So I guess I'll try to do something safer, like having my house lights on at night."
Bensalem police ask anyone with information about catalytic converter theft crime to come forward.
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