Video: Suspects steal catalytic converters from South Jersey school buses two nights in a row

Police say suspects were caught on camera stealing catalytic converters from a school bus parking lot one night, then returned the next night to do the exact same thing.

At least three suspects were seen cutting a hole in the fence, then cutting catalytic converters from buses at the Gloucester Township Public Schools Transportation Center in Blackwood.

A total of six were stolen on two separate nights, November 28-29. Police say the suspects also damaged other vehicles while unsuccessfully trying to steal even more converters.

"I mean, it's wrong," said Keisha Brown, who lives in the area. "People work hard, and now you're taking from the kids? They can't go to school, they don't have transportation. Now, parents have to take off from work or be late for work."

Police say the suspects were dropped off by an SUV on both nights, while another vehicle drove around as a look out.


The suspected vehicles are described as being a late 2000s Honda Pilot with no front registration tag, roof racks and a sunroof; and a white sedan with no front registration tag, tinted windows and a sunroof. 

"That’s just outrageous, that’s crazy especially during the holiday season and everything. Why would people want to do that? I understand people want to get money but still, that’s just not right. Especially a school bus. That’s just outrageous to me," said Brett Cooper, a resident in Gloucester Township.

These thefts are just a few of many that happened in the area over the holiday weekend. Nearby Washington Township police say at least seven neighborhoods within the town were targeted by thieves that same weekend. 

On Tuesday, Philadelphia City Council held a hearing to review a bill that will hopefully crack down on converter thefts in the city. City officials say they are hopeful that the new bill will include stiffer penalties and fines.

Police say catalytic converter thefts are particularly hard to stop because the thieves are able to cut the converters from vehicles within seconds. They are encouraging people to park in well-lit areas and to always make sure your car doors are locked, so thieves can not steal items within the car, too. 

Anyone with information regarding the recent converter thefts in Gloucester Township is asked to contact Gloucester Township Police Department at 856-228-4500, or call the tip line at 856-842-5560. Anonymous tips for crimes in Philadelphia can be made here