School bus with crime scene tape after thieves stole the catalytic converter. (Facebook)

School bus with crime scene tape after thieves stole the catalytic converter. (Facebook)

Neighbour watches as thieves remove muffler to steal catalytic converter off a Chilliwack school bus

Local bus driver arrives at work to find police tape draped across the doors of her bus

A local bus driver says she was upset to arrive at work find her school bus doors draped with crime-scene tape on Thursday morning.

Thieves had stolen the catalytic converter the night before by removing the muffler off the bus entirely.

“So disappointed,” wrote Teresa Marie Atchison on a local Facebook page, describing what it felt like finding the police tape across the bus doors with business cards from RCMP tucked into them.

A neighbour had called in the theft the night before at just before 9 p.m., and RCMP attended the scene within five minutes but the suspects had fled.

“The neighbour who called it in was actually in his own driveway working on one of his vehicles.”

What drew the man’s attention was the loud noise of some kind of air compressor and commotion coming from under the bus. The bus had been parked on Watson Road, near the Vedder View Cemetery.

RCMP Cpl. Mike Rail of the UFVRD said the incident is under investigation, and anyone with information or dash cam footage is asked to contact RCMP about the Oct. 7 incident. These catalytic converters are targeted by thieves for the metal resale value, and they’ve been averaging one or two incidents per month, he said.

“These thefts are typically crimes of opportunity,” said Cpl. Rail. “If anyone sees suspicious behaviour like someone working under a car in the dark, don’t hesitate to call us.”

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Chilliwack Progress