Catalytic converters stolen from school buses at Moorestown High School

The problem of people stealing the vehicle parts, which contain valuable precious metals, has been growing for some time.

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Monday, September 19, 2022
Catalytic converters stolen from buses at South Jersey high school
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Catalytic converters were stolen from nine school buses at Moorestown High School in Burlington County, New Jersey.

MOORESTOWN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Police in Burlington County, New Jersey are looking for the suspects who stole nine catalytic converters from school buses over the weekend.

Moorestown Police want the public to take a good look at surveillance images showing the vehicle they're looking for.

Police say two suspects stole nine catalytic converters from smaller school buses overnight Friday into Saturday, and they're looking for a white utility truck.

"The school buses that operate by gasoline were the ones that had the catalytic converters, the shorter, smaller school buses. Those were the ones that were targeted," said Moorestown Police Chief Walter Walczak.

This happened in the lot next to Moorestown High School on Bridgeboro Road.

The superintendent of Moorestown Township Public Schools released a statement saying transportation was not affected.

"With the buses targeted, it looked like some of our most vulnerable students would have been most affected. However, dedicated members of my team spent almost all of the weekend working, coordinating with the county, and assuring that these buses could get fixed," wrote superintendent Michael Volpe.

The problem of people stealing the vehicle parts, which contain valuable precious metals, has been growing for some time.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, claims for stolen catalytic converters have soared over the past two years nationwide.

The number of claims in 2021 is 15 times higher compared with 2019.

Folks at Penn Muffler and Brake in Pennsauken have seen it too.

"I betcha last week alone we've probably done 20 of 'em, 25 of 'em," said service manager Joe Foy.

He says there are guards you can install on your vehicle, but even those aren't foolproof.

"It was on a truck, it had one on it and they cut it off. And that was on a new truck and it was an Isuzu and there's a national back order," said Foy.

Several pieces of legislation that have been introduced in New Jersey are taking aim at the problem, including one that would limit who can sell a catalytic converter that is not attached to a vehicle.

Police say they're working with the Moorestown School District, discussing ways to improve security in the bus lot.

They'll also be checking in with scrap yards to see if the thieves have tried to sell them.

Anyone with information on the vehicle or the suspects should contact police at 856-914-3092 or