Vandalized Norwalk Senior Center buses back on the road

The Norwalk Senior Center is asking for the community’s help after being hit by thieves just as it was reopening for the first time since the pandemic began.

News 12 Staff

Jul 2, 2021, 6:52 PM

Updated 1,057 days ago

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The Norwalk Senior Center is asking for the community's help after being hit by thieves just as it was reopening for the first time since the pandemic began.
Monday morning was supposed to be a celebration for the nonprofit, but staff arrived to find their buses out of commission.
Someone stole the catalytic converters from under all three buses over the weekend. Catalytic converters are part of the exhaust system and contain precious metals that can be sold for scrap.
"Our transportation team, which consists of three bus drivers came in, started up the buses - fired them up. And there was a huge boom - very loud sound," says Beatrix Lane, the executive director.
The theft caused a major disruption to transportation services offered by the Norwalk Senior Center. It also caused a lot of disappointment for seniors who were hoping to be there for day one of the reopening.
"For the first day of reopening, transportation was disrupted because we couldn’t provide as much transportation as we’d planned for the seniors that were hoping to get here for the activities on the first day," says Lane.
This incident is only the latest reported in the state. Many of the thefts have involved commercial vehicles or, as in this case, vehicles used to help people who are vulnerable. In February, thieves hit a charity in Greenwich - leaving nine vans inoperable.
The Norwalk Senior Center was able to get the vehicles fixed this week but the nonprofit still needs help from the community. It stores the buses in a city parking lot that has no fence and little lighting.
"If anyone knows of a business or an individual that has safe, secure storage for three spaces, specifically three of our buses - it would be immensely helpful to store them evenings, weekends and holidays in a secure location so the same thing doesn't happen again," Lane says.
Though insured, the nonprofit still has a $3,000 deductible - which is a substantial financial hit for an agency whose funding is down 30% because of COVID-19.
Anyone who can help the Norwalk Senior Center can contact Lane at 203-847-3115 ext. 103 or via email.


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