Salem nonprofit serving disabled adults reports catalytic converter stolen

(Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

A Salem nonprofit that serves adults with developmental disabilities reported Wednesday a catalytic converter had been stolen from one of their vans.

Starla Hirschkorn, executive director of Rockwest Training Company, said the van is one of seven vehicles they use to give rides to those they serve to and from home, which she described as the organization’s primary service.

She said vehicles are assigned to specific groups, meaning the one the van is designated for will have to wait until it’s repaired.

“If we’re not able to have vehicles, then we can’t provide the service,” she said.

As a nonprofit, Hirschkorn said, Rockwest doesn’t have the funding to continue replacing catalytic converters anytime they are stolen, adding that they were previously stolen from three of the organization’s buses in spring 2021, costing them thousands of dollars.

Whoever stole the most recent converter entered their garage by removing bolts from a fence, but the incident was not visible on surveillance video due to a car blocking the camera.

Angela Hedrick, Salem police spokeswoman, confirmed Thursday that the catalytic converter was reported stolen and the fence damaged.

She said there were no investigative leads to follow up on, such as information witness information about a possible suspect or surveillance video.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian