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Several catalytic converters have been reported stolen over the past week, according to the Bowling Green Police Department.

In an email Monday, Tim Gray, public information officer for the WKU Police Department, shared that BGPD has had reports of catalytic converters being stolen off of buses from churches or non-profit organizations. The buses were Ford E-350 or E-450, according to the email. There is not one area being targeted during the thefts, according to the email. No vehicles on campus have been affected at this time as far as the WKU Police know, Gray said.

“Thieves target catalytic converters because they contain precious metals, like platinum, palladium or rhodium, that are valuable to metal dealers,” Gray said.

The metals are very rare and can be used for electronics, jewelry and industrial purposes, Gray said.

One of the groups affected by these thefts is Community Action of Southern Kentucky. There’s been five catalytic converters stolen from their buses, said Carroll Duckworth, the director of Transportation Services at Community Action of Southern Kentucky. One was stolen from one of their early learning facilities and four were stolen on separate occasions from their central office, Duckworth said.

“The buses were behind a locked fence,” Duckworth said. He added that the fence was cut twice.

According to Duckworth the fence was replaced after the first when two and a half catalytic converters were stolen. Two nights later the fence was broken again, and one and a half catalytic converters were stolen.

Community Action of Southern Kentucky has security cameras on the buses and has filed insurance about the thefts, said Duckworth.

Gray said to think about the best place to park a vehicle for any extended period of time. A home garage would be best, Gray said.

“We encourage you to pass information along to those within your respective areas as a reminder to be mindful of where you park your vehicle; not just on campus, but also around the Bowling Green area,” Gray said.

 News reporter Lily Burris can be reached at 270-745-6011 and lily.burris203@topper.wku.edu. Follow her on Twitter at @lily_burris.