CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — It’s a busy time of year for Wholesale Flower Market in Chesapeake, so what they discovered last Wednesday morning created could’ve been a major setback.
“We arrived here, 7 a.m. ready to start the day and noticed that when we went to pull the vans out to get them loaded up for the deliveries for the day … they [made] the awful noise when the converters are no longer there,” said business marketing manager Leigh Williams.
Williams says — sure enough — after peeking under the cars they realized the catalytic converters of two of their vans had been sawed off.
“It’s incredibly frustrating for us as a business. We are a small business. We try to operate as efficiently as possible,” Williams said.
Williams says fortunately they were able to get the vans fixed the same day and make all their deliveries on time — but the repairs ran them $3,000.
They weren’t able to catch the crime on camera, but a Chesapeake daycare — which had the catalytic converters stolen from their transportation vans Sunday — was able to.
In the daycare’s video, a man is seen sliding under a van with a saw. Another man in a blue car pulls up to help.
After 10 On Your Side aired the video, another business about 10 minutes up the road reached out.
“They used a saw to cut it and it really hit home when we saw the video of the other company,” said Sean Bell, owner of Brighton Gardens LLC.
Bell and his wife own group homes and a day support program for adults with disabilities.
Bell says one of his mechanics came over to work on one of their vans this past Sunday. It made that horrible tell-tale noise of a missing catalytic converter.
The thieves got away with two vans’ catalytic converters, one of which is used to help transport those in wheelchairs. The problem will also cost them about $3,000.
“It really impacts the individuals that we serve more than it just does us as a business, and it’s sort of frustrating,” Bell said.
Bell is in the process of looking through his surveillance footage to find out when exactly it happened.
Chesapeake say they are investigating all 3 incidents but haven’t made any arrests yet. Police have not said the incidents are connected.
Last week, WAVY.com spoke to a man who said the catalytic converter was stolen from his vehicle stranded on the side of the road in Suffolk.
In response to the incident and an inquiry by WAVY, Suffolk Police said catalytic converter theft happens sporadically and in clusters.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or submit a tip online.