Vandals damage wheelchair-accessible vans

December 24, 2019 GMT

BETHEL, Conn. (AP) — Police in Connecticut are looking for the vandal or vandals who damaged seven wheelchair-accessible vans a nonprofit uses to transport people with disabilities.

The vans had their catalytic converters removed last weekend while they were parked at Ability Beyond’s Bethel office, making them undrivable, The News-Times of Danbury reported Tuesday.

The vans are used to transport the nonprofit’s clients to and from day and work programs, Ability Beyond’s Alisa Picerno said. The damage to the vans is estimated at around $10,000 and repairs will not be completed until the new year, she said.

Bethel police are investigating.

Catalytic converters, part of a vehicle’s emissions control system, contain trace amounts of precious metals and thieves often sell them for their scrap value.

“We are shuffling schedules and vehicles to minimize the impact for the people we serve,” Jane Davis, president and CEO of Ability Beyond, said in a statement.

“Transportation is a critical service that we provide,” said Davis “Without it, many clients would not be able to participate in our vital programs.”