WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- One western Massachusetts community is reeling again after catalytic converters are stolen this week. Some West Springfield and Agawam school buses were targeted last week and this week, it was businesses.
“Catalytic converters were stolen from nine different vehicles from two different establishments, businesses in town,” said West Springfield Police Sgt. Joseph LaFrance.
At least two businesses on Interstate Drive in West Springfield got catalytic converters stolen from their vehicles, so we're getting answers for you. We asked West Springfield Police what the motivation is behind this. Their conclusion came to platinum.
(WGGB/WSHM) -- More than 200 students in two different towns were left without a ride to school Wednesday morning after 22 minibuses were vand…
“Our detective bureau is actively investigating along with just about every detective bureau in western Mass. This is a problem that's been happening all over the state and all over the country due to the price of platinum right now,” LaFrance added.
LaFrance told Western Mass News you can get some serious cash for platinum.
“Right now, the price of platinum, I just looked it up, was $1,700 an ounce,” LaFrance explained.
Last week, catalytic converters were stolen from a school bus yard in Agawam where mini buses serving West Springfield and Agawam students were targeted. Transportation for students in early childhood education programs was affected, but West Springfield School Superintendent Tim Connor told us the buses are back in action now.
“The inconvenience to the families was big. Now, we're back to our roots. Parents can put their kids back on the bus, feels good,” Connor noted.
In the meantime, LaFrance offered advice on protecting catalytic converters from potential thieves.
“Installing cameras, motion sensor cameras and motion sensor flood lights in particular would help. Try and park your vehicle in a fenced-in area or garage. That's the best advice we could give right now,” LaFrance noted.
One area non-profit that was impacted by the thefts told Western Mass News:
"For our human services agency to be hit by the theft of catalytic converters from 19 of our vans is not just a matter of an inconvenience and the filing of an insurance claim. The individuals responsible stole access to services from people who need those services daily. Our dedicated drivers are working overtime to try to serve as many of those people as we can, but there is no way we can serve them all. Replacing the parts will take weeks."