DENVER (KDVR) — A local nonprofit became the latest target for catalytic converter thieves after two were cut off its school buses Thursday morning.   

Warren Village is located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and helps single-parent families with transitional housing.  

“It particularly hurts an organization like ours, that serves single parents and serves moms and little kids. It just stings a little bit,” Warren Village CEO Ethan Hemming told FOX31.

It happened in the early morning hours, in the parking lot right off 13th Avenue and Gilpin Street. A mechanic at BDM Performance Exhaust found out what happened and moved quickly to help replace the converters. The loss of the buses caused the kids’ programs to be temporarily canceled and even some adults walking them to school. 

Officials at Warren Village are hoping you can help them recoup some of the thousands they’ve lost. 

In Colorado, catalytic converter thefts mushroomed virtually overnight. The FOX31 Digital Data Desk found there were 25 thefts in 2019, statewide. That grew to more than 2,100 in 2021, a nearly 8,000% increase, which is the nation’s fourth-highest rate of such thefts.

“The fiscal hit is unfortunate for us because it’s not something I’ve budgeted for is to have our catalytic converters stolen,” Hemming said. “Our little school buses can be the heart of warren village, they help get our kiddos our elementary school kids to school every day and back, the little ones to field trips.”  

The nonprofit plans to enhance security, but will it be enough in a state currently on the struggle bus for catalytic thefts?  

You can help the nonprofit by donating to its website.

The buses will be back in full commission in time for Monday.