Oshkosh schools without buses Thursday due to theft of catalytic converters

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — Thefts of catalytic converters prevented Oshkosh students from taking buses to school Thursday morning.

The Oshkosh Area School District said the thefts affected the entire Oshkosh Terminal in Kobussen. Kobussen is the company that provides school buses to the district. As a result, there were no buses to or from school Thursday for students in the Oshkosh Area School District, according to the district.

The school district said families receiving buses were notified of the situation earlier Thursday morning and asked to make alternate plans for getting their children to and from school.

On Thursday afternoon, the school district announced that buses to and from school will resume as normal on Friday. Kobussen is able to relocate its buses that serve other school districts that are not in session that day. The bus should continue as normal next week. Kobussen is working on repairing his buses.

“Thefts of Kobussen catalytic converters first caused a delay for OASD buses on Wednesday, September 28. While Kobussen had made every effort to resume scheduled buses for OASD today, other thefts of catalytic converters occurred overnight,” the school district said in a statement.

Catalytic converters are a component of a vehicle’s exhaust system that make pollutants produced by the vehicle less severe. The theft of catalytic converters from vehicles has steadily increased in recent years in connection with the value of the metals used in their manufacture. But, according to previous reports, with the effects of COVID-19 on the global economy and record inflation, flights have spiked again during the pandemic.

According to a report, in 2021 State Farm Insurance paid $62 million in claims for approximately 32,000 converter thefts. That’s over 1,100% from two years earlier.

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