EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Police on Long Island are searching for the suspects responsible for stealing parts of several vans meant for the disabled.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, authorities said the suspects stole catalytic converters from nine vans owned by the charity AHRC in the middle of the night.

The East Meadow-based agency reported the thefts on Wednesday morning.

The vans are used to transport 30 disabled men and women to day programs and rehabilitation programs, according to AHRC spokesman Robert Ciatto.

“We do have a lot of individuals at that particular site that are multiply handicap that have medical issues. it’s one of our specialized sites, so it impacted 90 percent of them,” Ciatto told Hall.

He said it is going to cost as much as $25,000 to repair the vans.

“Number one, that they’re stealing from vehicles in general, to me, is despicable. The fact that they’re preying on programs such as ourselves that provide a service that is desperately needed is even more disconcerting,” Ciatto told Hall.

Catalytic converters contain platinum, which thieves sell for cash. There have been a number of catalytic converter thefts reported across the Tri-State area in recent months.

Anyone with information about the thefts is urged to call Nassau Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.

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