Catalytic converters stolen from vehicles at 2 Lexington organizations

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- An organization in Lexington caught on surveillance camera two people stealing parts from its work vans in the middle of the day.

"Our drivers looked up under both of them and you could see where the catalytic converters had been stolen. It's strange that something like that would happen. I haven't heard of something like this happening in a long time," said Bob Harmon, director of Open Hands.

Harmon said they have several cameras that surround their building, so his next step was to find out who did it. That's when he found footage from one of the cameras of the two suspects getting out of a black vehicle. One searched underneath the two vans before they both got out to steal the catalytic convertors.

"I mean they got there, cut both of those catalytic converters out and they were gone in five minutes," Harmon said.

Lexington police said Open Hands wasn't the only organization hit. Habitat For Humanity also had van parts stolen that same day. Police are investigating both cases.

"Any organizations or church, check your vans. Make sure they there and try to make sure they're secure," Harmon said.

Open Hands is a community organization that services those who are homeless or people struggling to get back on their feet, so having these vans out of commission is a strain.

"What we do on Monday nights, we have a hot meal that we serve for them. We have a meal, music and message service," Harmon said.

"Without the vans, it's been hard for us to do some of those things now. It's been an inconvenience. It would be dangerous to do that with the vans being like that because of the fumes getting into the vehicles," Harmon said.

It also puts a financial burden on small organizations like theirs. They hope to have the vans repaired by next week.

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