FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An organization dedicated to helping with child development is facing a hardship.
The catalytic converters were stolen from four of about a dozen vehicles used to travel to family's homes, including EPU's latest investment -- an outreach van, artistically named "Vincent Van Going Places."
"This incident alone is costing us over $5,000 to fix and repair," says EPU Director of Development & Communication Amanda Tripp. "Over the past two years we've had about four incidents between the converters and other car breaks."
For the EPU staff, it's frustrating because it's happened before. That's why they added a cage around the vehicles and put guards on some of the catalytic converters.
"We're taking steps but so are the thieves," Tripp said.
She says the vehicles impacted had to be towed away and it could take as long as two months to replace the converters because of supply shortages.
That's not all. EPU is funded by a variety of government grants. That money has to specifically fund the services EPU offers, so the cost to replace the catalytic converters has to come from its "unrestricted" fund of donations.
"To have funds taken from that and given to this issue is extremely frustrating," Tripp said. "This is money we would rather spend on the folks we serve and maybe even doing a little extra."
She's asking anyone in the community who feels inclined to help to make a donation.