WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lil Scholars Too daycare doesn’t have a way to transport kids because someone stole the catalytic converters off both of their vans.
Dozens of kids and staff at the West Des Moines daycare are disappointed because that means they can’t go out on field trips, which is something they do daily during the summer.
“They ruined it for our kids. Now our kids can’t go on their field trips. They’re supposed to be going to a play next week. They have a movie theater they’re going to. They’re supposed to be going swimming. They’re going bowling. Now we have to tell our kids that they can’t go to any of these places,” Lil Scholars Too Director Maci Johnston said.
These catalytic converters are part of the exhaust system on vehicles and contain valuable metal inside.
Local Midas Mechanic Scott Johnston said the converters are often stolen off of commercial vehicles because they are easier to get underneath.
“Many of these converters contain platinum, which depending on the amount you can make $200 to $300 off of selling the metal inside,” Johnson said.
Johnson said when this piece is missing the vehicle will sound very loud and the check engine light may even come on.
The repairs are very expensive and will cost the daycare about $5,000 for both of their vans.
“It makes me so sad. I am so angry and I want to warn the other childcare centers and other people out there. We don’t have garages to put our vans in. I want to make sure that other childcare centers are watching out for this. Also that they put their van somewhere where it’s safe, where it’s well lit, where nobody can do this to them,” Johnston said.
Johnson said he recommends securing vehicles inside of a garage of parking them in a way that it is hard to get underneath of the vehicle to make sure this doesn’t happen.