Education organization becomes latest victim of catalytic converter theft

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — After the fourth of July holiday weekend, the Dothan Education Foundation returned to work and quickly found out there was a malfunctioning issue with their van.

“We had noticed our van was acting a little strange and we took it to our auto mechanic and they had called and let us know that our catalytic converter had been stolen and there’s some damage,” Executive Director Lindsey Fountain said.

The type of theft has been a trend in the Wiregrass with the last one taking place at another non-profit organization over two months ago. For the Dothan Education Foundation, they don’t receive state funding as they depend on generous donations from the community and other local resources.

Executive Director Lindsey Fountain said one of the biggest impacts for them is putting the community in a bind after having to pay a load of money to fix damages.

“When you consider you have to pay 1300 dollars on a new catalytic converter and damages done to our vehicle from that theft, our community has probably lost $20-40,000 dollars of resources that could go back to teachers or students in need,” Fountain said.

Fountain said with the school year around the corner, it’s a busy season for them as they are constantly waiting on shipments of school supplies. With the recent incident, it’s difficult for them to do their part in getting them delivered to students and teachers.

“And so all of that will take a halt and you know it’s going to be a quick turnaround for us,” Fountain said.

Fountain said they are working with law enforcement as they are reviewing camera footage. In the meantime, if you would like to donate, you can visit the website.

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