GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Catalytic converter thefts have become an increasingly worrisome problem throughout northeast Wisconsin.

ASPIRO, a non-profit organization in Green Bay, had five different catalytic converters stolen from their vans for people with various disabilities. Each catalytic converter can cost upward of $1,500 to replace.

“Last fall we had one stolen from our parking lot here,” explained Bart Staeven, Vice President of Facilities for ASPIRO. “We thought it might’ve been a fluke so we didn’t do anything about it but by the end of the year we had two more that were stolen from our property.”

Due to the thefts, ASPIRO then moved its vans to a secure, fenced-in area. However, that didn’t deter the thefts, within another couple of months, 2 more were stolen.

Vehicle Security Innovators, a Green Bay company, approached ASPIRO a couple of months ago in hopes of testing out a new product and offered to supply ASPIRO with a few of them. The product is supposed to prevent catalytic converters from being unwantedly taken off of a vehicle.

“The product is made out of stainless steel, making it harder to cut and it’s wrapped around the frame in a couple of different places. So even if they cut the pipe, they won’t be able to get the converter down. We are very happy with the product and plan to install them on the rest of our fleet,” stated Staeven.

ASPIRO states that this new deterrent gives them hope that this can be prevented in the future.