Jul. 23—MANCHESTER — Thieves stole several catalytic converters from school buses this week, temporarily sidelining a portion of Dattco's fleet for the town, police said.
Catalytic converters were stolen from 10 school buses sometime overnight Tuesday into Wednesday at the Glen Road location where they're stored. Manchester Police Lt. Ryan Shea said that the midnight shift officer on duty at the time arrived to the scene as the thefts were taking place because he frequently checks Dattco property during his patrols.
Shea said that the officer did not chase the vehicle the suspects fled in because of the department's policy to "not attempt to engage the suspects in a motor vehicle pursuit," a policy that mirrors state policy, he said.
Several catalytic converters also were stolen from buses at the lot in March.
The vehicle part is valuable because it contains precious metals that have increased in price considerably.
"With DATTCO being victim to these crimes once again, the prevalence of this type of crime is certainly gaining the public's attention," Shea said today.
Jim Farrell, director of communications for the school district, said that the sidelining of several buses Wednesday didn't noticeably affect summer school transportation.
Shea said the investigation into the theft at Dattco remains open, adding catalytic converter thefts have been an issue many towns, cities, and states are experiencing.
Shea said the police department encourages the public to permanently mark their catalytic converters to prevent thefts or help track down suspects who may steal them.
"We will continue to aggressively patrol the town of Manchester to deter crimes such as this, and we are working with other agencies across the state and region to develop suspects in this case," Shea said.
Anyone with information regarding the thefts, or any information on individuals in possession of multiple used catalytic converters or that sell them under suspicious terms, is asked to call the Manchester Police Department at 860-645-5500.
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