WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Wichita police report a drop in catalytic converter thefts over the past year, but there were still more than 1,000 in 2022. One of the latest victims is a food and pantry charity in Wichita.
Inside the building at Table of Hope, it’s business as usual. Stocking shelves, making sure the weekly donations of food are ready to roll. But outside, the charity is paying out thousands to fix their trucks because they keep getting hit by catalytic converter theft.
“We have people that live in seven counties that come to this food pantry,” Jackie Carter, the pastor of Table of Hope, said.
Police are hopeful to find suspects, but Table of Hope says it’s time to do something to make it stop.
In the video player above, you can see where a truck had the catalytic convert stolen, even though it was chained to the truck for security.
They have security cameras, but this is the sixth time someone has stolen a catalytic converter, costing the charity thousands, even after insurance.
“We’ve got to find a way to protect these trucks,” Carter said. “A thousand dollars every month in catalytic converters is not manageable. We can’t keep doing that.”
So what comes next? Carter says it is a big garage.
They want to build on their property to secure their trucks, so this won’t continue to happen. That way, they can continue to spend their money on what they say is the real mission.
“I believe it’s what we’re supposed to do,” Carter said. “I believe it’s what we’re called to do. There wasn’t any hesitation in the words of Christ when he said love Me, love God and love your neighbor.”
The church that helps run the Table of Hope food pantry says a garage build will cost at least $50,000, and while they are grateful for all the community support to do the mission, they are hoping someone will step up to help build that garage.