NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Thieves keep targeting Eggleston Auto on North Military Highway. The company is a nonprofit that empowers and employs adults with disabilities.

The Eggleston automotive center is made up of a hardworking team. Together, they repair and clean donated cars. Afterward, managers will set up an auction every two weeks to sell the cars. The money is used for the organization.

According to Norfolk police, officers have responded to five larceny reports at the auto center since Memorial Day weekend.

Paul Atkinson, Eggleston Automotive Center Manager, confirms at least 30 catalytic converters were stolen.

The most recent theft was on June 14 just hours after a truck was donated.

“We were [hit] as recently as last night, so unfortunately that number is climbing.”

Atkinson tells 10 On Your Side Eggleston upgraded its security system in the last six months, but more security is needed.

“They hit us from every angle, there is no part of my fence that has not been patched,” he said.

He explains the value of converters has gone up.

“The precious metals within the converters are simply worth more money right now. People are crawling in, sawing them off and then selling them.”

He calls it a crime of desperation, but it only hurts the most vulnerable workers.

“We are getting fed up here, it’s [happening] too many times here, it’s [taking] a toll on us,” explained Tyrone Johnson, titled employee of the year.

Johnson has worked at Eggleston for four years. He loves his job, but most importantly the people.
He believes if thieves keep stealing from the auto center, it will eventually impact his work hours.

“It’s going to take hours away from me. No auction, no work. So, that hits my pocket,” said Johnson.
Atkinson is working with leadership to look into adding private security or more ways to upgrade security cameras. 

“They are stealing from Eggleston, at some level, but they are really stealing from the disabled community here locally. That’s who they are taking money from,” said Atkinson.

He adds that it is very expensive to repair the cars after the catalytic converter is stolen. 

“That’s money we as a nonprofit don’t have to give out to something like this,” explains Atkinson. “It’s such a shame we ever have to consider it!” 

Eggleston managers and employees are now asking for community support, so they do not have to cancel any auctions!

“We are going to persist. We are going to make it through.”

If you would like to help Eggleston Auto Center, you can:

Donate online

Donate a used car

The next auction at Eggleston Auto is set for June 18.