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Catalytic converters stolen from nearly 20 school buses

By MIA VILLANUEVA

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    MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OR (KPTV) — The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man suspected of stealing catalytic converters from several Reynolds School District vehicles Saturday night.

According to investigators, it was all caught on camera. The district says it caused about $70,000 in damage and knocked 19 buses out of service. School leaders say it has 115 buses so there shouldn’t be any significant delays, but the massive theft has compounded existing issues with their transportation services.

“It was a pretty quick job, and unfortunately it did a lot of damage to our buses,” Reynolds School District spokesperson Steven Padilla said.

The sheriff’s office is looking for the man pictured below. He was seen on surveillance video Saturday morning scoping out the school district’s bus yard before returning to steal the converters. The suspect’s face was covered by a mask and hat, but district officials are hoping someone recognizes him. He has a tattoo on his right hand.

District officials are now looking for converters to replace the stolen ones, but they haven’t had much luck.

“Right now there is one catalytic converter for our bus in the state of Oregon,” Padilla said.

Ideally, the district would like to recover the stolen converters. Even though it would take hours of work, they could still repair their buses with the original parts.

“It’s going to take months for the buses to be repaired because of the (catalytic converter) shortage. We’re reaching out to the state of Georgia. They have five; we are trying to secure those,” Padilla said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers.

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