Catalytic converter thieves hit Shelton school bus yard

City of Shelton school buses parked in Shelton, Conn. June 7, 2018.

City of Shelton school buses parked in Shelton, Conn. June 7, 2018.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON - Police are investigating the theft of catalytic converters from five buses sometime overnight between Monday and Tuesday morning.

Lt. Robert Kozlowsky said this was the first time that the city bus yard has been hit with such thefts, but this is a problem not only in Shelton but also nationwide. Police had no cost estimate on the thefts.

“We’re aware that this is a problem both in the state and nationally,” Kozlowsky said. “Our officers are aware to be on patrol in areas where there are a lot of vehicles.”

In an email to parents, the school district alerted parents to the incident and that other buses would be used to cover the Tuesday routes.

Superintendent Ken Saranich said four bus runs were affected. The catalytic converters were stolen off the smaller Type-2 buses, which have handicapped accessibility. The larger buses were used in their place, according to Saranich.

The loss of those buses Tuesday, according to Saranich, impacted those students with mobility issues, particularly those in wheelchairs. The buses used for the impacted runs were not handicapped accessible. Saranich said the district dealt with getting those students with mobility issues to school on a case-by-case basis.

Saranich said no timeline for the return of these smaller buses has been given. The city-run Shelton Student Transportation Service operates the buses.

Transportation director Ken Nappi and Mayor Mark Lauretti were unavailable for comment.

“This was an unfortunate and unforeseen incident,” the district’s email states.