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33 Palm Tran shuttles stripped of their catalytic converters as thefts rise

Shrinking Police
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(WEST PALM BEACH)- Almost 3 dozen Palm Tran vehicles were targeted by thieves in the early morning hours of Saturday with 33 catalytic converters stolen from shuttle busses parked inside the Palm Tran yard on Electronics Way near Australian Blvd.

The vehicles were Palm Tran Connection shuttles which are used to transport elderly and disabled residents around Palm Beach County.

Palm Tran spokesman Joe Harrington told our partners at WPTV that the vehicles will be out of service until repairs can be completed and regular passengers can expect delays beginning on Monday.

He suggested residents who use Palm Tran Connection use another transportation service if possible.

Catalytic converters are devices that remove pollutants from your vehicle’s emissions and are attached to the exhaust pipe between the engine and muffler.

Thieves will use metal cutting saws to remove the converters and will often fence them to unscrupulous dealers who resell them at a discount to consumers.

The converters also contain precious metals including platinum which makes them a prime target for scrappers.

The theft at Palm Tran comes on the heels of an August 18th incident where numerous businesses near Riviera Beach were targeted by converter thieves.

Converter theft has been on the rise across Florida and PBSO will at times provide free etching of the part in order to thwart reselling and scrapping.

While anti-theft devices are available, law enforcement recommends parking your vehicle in a well lit area or locked garage if possible in order to reduce the risk of being targeted.