People with disabilities without rides after thieves steal parts from buses

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FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. – Dozens of people with disabilities were left without a ride Tuesday after thieves stole parts from buses at a local agency. The Fairview Heights Police Department is asking for the public's help to locate the thieves.

The incident happened at Community Link, located on N. Fourth Street. Community Link's main vision is to see people with developmental disabilities live and participate in a community that values their presence and other contributions.

Officials said the thieves took a catalytic converter from two buses. The thieves had to get under the bus to do it. The buses remain idled and dozens of people with disabilities may not have a ride.

“…We have three locations that provide adult day care program services at our Fairview Heights. We serve 55 people out of this location. We hope people continue to pursue Community Link for services needed,” said Lynn Huelsmann, executive director at Community Link.

Police said the theft could cost the agency thousand dollars to replace the stolen parts and investigators are seeing more and more of these types of crimes.

“We received several calls in the last couple of months of these types of parts being cut off cars in different areas across the city, along with other communities in the area seeing the same types of thefts,” said Fairview Heights police Officer Tim Euller.

The agency says they are not sure how long it will be before they are able to get the buses repaired.

Police are encouraging anyone with information to contact the Fairview Heights Police Department at 618-489-2100.

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