Thieves target catalytic converters in student parking lot

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Thieves targeted a Blue Springs High School parking lot Wednesday, damaging several students' vehicles parked near the school. Police say seven catalytic converters were stolen from the parking lot at Centennial Pool, and two were taken from cars parked at nearby Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.

The pool lot is an overflow parking lot contracted by the school district for students to use across the street from their school.

“I just got in it, started up, thought it was stuck in overdrive for a second,” Blue Springs junior Trevor Merritt said.

But Merritt quickly discovered something was wrong with his Chevy Blazer when he says several cars around him sounded like they were revving up for the Indy 500.

“My friend came over and said his catalytic converter was gone. He checked mine, mine was gone. A few other people’s were gone,” he recalled.

Merritt, a bit of a car buff, knew exactly why thieves would target the catalytic converters.

“The stock ones have gold, platinum, and a few other precious metals in them that some chop shops can get a quick buck out of,” he explained.

But what no one can understand is how the thieves went unnoticed. Merritt’s car was parked next to the sidewalk along the street that serves as the main entrance to the school.

“It’s just unbelievable that this happens on school property in a school lot,” his mother Karen said.

Also shocking to them, that the thieves knowingly targeted students.

“It’s a terrible thing to do to anyone, but we are here expecting our cars to be safe near campus on campus, and this happens,” Merritt said.

“They are stealing from our kids they are stealing out of our pockets, it’s just unbelievable,” his mother said.

School officials said they are working with Blue Springs police to try to help solve the crime.