Glendale company looking for answers in car vandalisms
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Ram Homecare LLC is a small company that helps developmentally disabled people. But because of recent gas siphoning and catalytic converter thefts, the company is having a tough time transporting those who are part of the program.
“You know what this bus is for, right?” owner Rick Mejia asked. “And they still come out and steal from us.” Police reports and surveillance cameras; at this point, Mejia has done about all he can think of to prevent his transportation shuttles from being vandalized. “You know, you kind of feel hopeless,” Mejia said. “When this thing is out of commission, then we have to find a different way to get them out here.”
Mejia and his wife started Ram Homecare LLC in 2005 as a way to provide home and community-based services for adults and children with developmental disabilities. In the last year, Mejia’s had two catalytic converters stolen. “We’ve had guys come out when they’ve already been stolen,” Mejia said. “Unfortunately for them, we were waiting on parts. Fortunately for us, we were waiting on parts, so they weren’t stolen again.”
This past week, 40 gallons of gas were taken from his shuttle in broad daylight. In total, hundreds to thousands of dollars might not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but for a small company, those dollars can add up fast. “That money was also used for recreational stuff, activities for our guys,” Mejia said. “Our parents depend on our vehicles. They depend on us to pick them up on time, to drop them off on time.”
Mejia has reached out to Peoria police. But he knows they’ve got more pressing issues than tracking down thieves that haven’t left much of a trace. “I don’t expect them to go out and do that either,” he said. “But hopefully, someone sees or recognizes those cars.” If they do, Mejia has a message for those involved. “There’s help-wanted signs everywhere,” he said. “These guys just need to go get a job or get their own cats (catalytic converters). Or whatever it is that they’re doing.”
If you recognize those involved in these acts of vandalism, you can send Rick an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Police recommend that one way to lower your chances of getting a catalytic converter stolen is by spraypainting or engraving your VIN number on it.
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