Catalytic converter thief targets Gallatin church van


GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — Gallatin Police are searching for a thief who cut a catalytic converter off a church van.

The crime happened early in the morning, May 24, at the Southside Baptist Church on South Water Avenue. That’s when Gallatin Police say a man is seen messing around with a church van normally parked in a gravel parking lot beside the church.

Caryn Pierce is the church secretary.

“Well, I thought it was bad, picking on a church. We know there’s a lot of evil in the world today. We happened to be a victim, and we do pray for them,” said Pierce.

According to Pierce, when the thief stole the church van catalytic converter, it affected many congregants who count on the van to come to worship.

“They got ready to use the van to go pick up these people and the van was not working. We had to get other volunteers from the church membership to be able to bring those people to church,” Pierce said.

Gallatin Police tell News 2 that the person who stole the van’s catalytic converter drives a very distinct looking pickup truck seen on surveillance footage traveling away from the church on South Water Avenue, driving past the Gallatin Police annex.

Police say the thief’s getaway vehicle is a Chevy Colorado with a two-tone paint job of yellow and black. The body of the truck is mostly yellow while the hood and roof are black.

Caryn Pierce says the money it took to fix the van does put a crimp in the church’s operating budget.

“It is an unplanned operating expense. Being a church, we support a lot of missionaries, so we won’t have the funds to send to the missionaries that we support,” said Pierce.

To the person who stole the van’s catalytic converter, Pierce said, “They need the Lord. They need the Lord.”

When it comes to catalytic converter thefts, police say there is only so much you can do. Lock up your vehicle in a garage or behind a fence, or get more surveillance systems.

Gallatin Police say the thief probably targeted the van for a reason.

“These suspects look at the churches and think nobody is there other than Sunday and Wednesday, so, it is a crime of opportunity for them.”

Gallatin police reported Friday morning the suspect has been located and arrested but no additional information was immediately released.

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