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Catalytic converter thieves hit another S. Minneapolis nonprofit

The group's vans have been sidelined by the crime.

Another Minneapolis nonprofit group is reporting the theft of catalytic converters from the vans they use to serve the community. 

Little Earth Residents Association (LERA), located in the Phillips neighborhood of south Minneapolis, is a housing complex that supports American Indian residents.

This past week, the organization launched a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for repairs on its fleet of vans, which are out of commission because of the theft. 

LERA says that, without the vans, the program's residents will suffer, as many "are in need of transportation to various destinations."

"LERA lacks the immediate funding to replace/repair these vehicles and are looking to the greater community for support," the GoFundMe says.

The fundraising effort is seeking $25,000 in donations. As of this writing, it's reached nearly a thousand.

This comes barely a couple of weeks after the WE WIN Institute, Inc., located near the Powderhorn area in south Minneapolis, suffered a similar fate. 

Thieves removed the catalytic converters from all three of the nonprofit's vans, leaving the group unable to shuttle underprivileged students to after-school events. 

As KSTP noted at the time, Minneapolis police say they've seen a spike in catalytic converter thefts recently. 

Why this particular part? According to Forbes, it's because of the "black market resale value of the precious metals (catalytic converters) contain," including palladium, rhodium and platinum.

Car owners don't know the parts are gone until they start their vehicles "and hear a noise that sounds like an erupting volcano," the website says.

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