Five catalytic converters were stolen from Maui Economic Opportunity buses in a span of just a few days.
The nonprofit agency said the catalytic converters were stolen between July 23 and Monday from buses at its Puunene base yard. The converters will cost up to $7,000 to replace.
The thieves cut through the base yard’s fence facing Maui Veterans Highway, according to MEO Director of Transportation Patty Copperfield.
At about 1:30 a.m. on July 23 they cut the exhaust on an eight-passenger bus to get to the catalytic converter. The bus is part of MEO’s Maui Bus American With Disabilities Act paratransit fleet.
During the next few days, they took the same parts from four 23-passenger buses used to transport people with disabilities, youth and seniors.
“These thefts could not have come at a worse time,” the nonprofit’s CEO Debbie Cabebe said in a statement. “We are facing tight budgets and insurance will not cover the cost of repairs and parts replacement. … In addition, the four larger buses are part of our Human Services transportation system, which was gearing up for the reopening of kupuna activities and schools next week. We will make do, but it is frustrating.”
While the larger buses won’t be available if not repaired in time, MEO’s services for schools and Kaunoa Senior Services programs will continue, but multiple runs may be required, the nonprofit said.
Anyone with information on the thefts can call the Maui Police Department number at (808) 244-6400 and reference report numbers 21-025629 and 21-025987.