Catalytic converters stolen from Menasha school buses

Police are recommending more frequent inspections to narrow down when the crimes happen
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 4:56 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 28, 2023 at 10:06 AM CDT
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MENASHA, Wis. (WBAY) - Three new catalytic converter thefts are being investigated by the Menasha Police Department. It’s an increasingly common crime we’ve been following in Northeast Wisconsin.

Three catalytic converters are missing from school buses belonging to a transportation company in Menasha. Lamers’ Fox Cities location reported the theft on Friday but it’s unknown when the incident occurred.

“They didn’t have an exact timeframe on when this stuff happened but believe it was sometime three to four weeks prior to this,” said Menasha Police Department Community Liaison Dan Hoernke.

The Menasha Police Department is investigating the theft and recommends companies with large fleets of buses inspect their vehicles every 72 hours to a week. “The benefits of this are if you report this stuff with in say three days to a week, we could use surveillance cameras or flock system type cameras and narrow down the window of that theft and potential suspects, as opposed to when we’re investigating a month of traffic cams in the area, it’s virtually impossible,” said Hoernke.

This isn’t the first time that Lamers’ Fox Cities office has been targeted either. Here in this same lot several catalytic converters were stolen last fall. And this isn’t even the only business in the area that’s been targeted for its catalytic converters.

“The reason why the bus catalytic converters have been on the uptick the last year or two is because these individuals who want to commit these crimes have realized there are a lot more precious metals in a converter that fits on a bus due to it being much larger than those that fit on cars and trucks,” said Hoernke.

Menasha Police also recommends using a heat resistant paint or carving the name of a company, license plate or other identifiable memo onto catalytic converters or using an anti-theft cage or alarm system to help prevent future crimes.