NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Thieves continue to target Eggleston Auto on the North Military Highway. The company is a non-profit organization that empowers and employs adults with disabilities.
The Eggleston Automotive Center is made up of a hardworking team. Together they repair and clean donated cars. Thereafter, the managers will set up an auction every two weeks to sell the cars. The money is used for the organization.
Norfolk Police say officers have responded to five reports of theft at the auto center since Memorial Day weekend.
Eggleston Automotive Center Manager Paul Atkinson confirms that at least 30 catalytic converters were stolen.
The most recent theft took place on June 14, just hours after a truck was donated.
“We were [hit] just last night, so unfortunately that number is increasing.
Atkinson tells 10 On Your Side Eggleston has upgraded its security system over the past six months, but more security is needed.
“They hit us from every angle, there’s no part of my fence that hasn’t been fixed,” he said.
He explains that the value of converters has increased.
“Precious metals in converters are just worth more money right now. People are crawling, sawing them and then reselling them.”
He calls it a crime of desperation, but it only hurts the most vulnerable workers.
“We’re fed up here, it’s [happening] too many times here is [taking] a toll for us,” explained Tyrone Johnson, named employee of the year.
Johnson has worked at Eggleston for four years. He loves his job, but especially people.
He thinks that if thieves keep stealing from the auto center, it will eventually impact his working hours.
“It will take me hours. No auctions, no works. So it hits my pocket,” Johnson said.
Atkinson is working with executives to consider adding private security or other ways to upgrade security cameras.
“They rob Eggleston, on some level, but they really rob the disabled community here locally. It’s who they take money from,” Atkinson said.
He adds that it is very expensive to repair cars after the theft of the catalytic converter.
“It’s money that we, as a nonprofit, don’t have to give to something like this,” Atkinson says. “It’s such a shame that we have to think about it!”
Eggleston managers and employees are now asking for community support, so they don’t have to cancel the auction!
“We will persist. We will get out of this. »
If you would like to help Eggleston Auto Center, you can:
Donate a used car
The next auction at Eggleston Auto is scheduled for June 18.