• Shelter left without use of van after thieves steal catalytic converter

    By: Matt Johnson

    Updated:

    FOREST PARK, Ga. - Someone keeps stealing from a homeless shelter and the latest crime was caught on video.

    Surveillance video shows two crooks swipe the catalytic converter out of a van in the parking lot of the Calvary Refuge Center in Forest Park.

    The van is not even visible from the street but, somehow, it's still been a magnet for thieves.

    “It breaks your heart,” said Tawana Tarno, Calvary Refuge Center’s executive director. “We give every day. We would never think someone would take from Calvary, but they have again.”

    Video shows two people checking out the cargo van in the center’s parking lot on Labor Day.


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    Within two minutes, the thieves are able to get underneath the van and steal the catalytic converter.

    Tarno told Channel 2’s Matt Johnson that she uses to pick up donated supplies.

    “As a nonprofit, you don’t have that extra money and a lot of your funding governmentwise has been cut, so we're looking for any way we can to bring in that little bit of extra,” Tarno said. 

    Channel 2 Action News has reported on two other times since 2015 that thieves have stolen the van that was used to transport families.

    Forest Park police have recovered it twice but each time it's been damaged.

    This time, the thieves escaped a minute before police arrived.

    “I’m hoping somebody’s mom is going to notice these two young guys and say, ‘Hey, what are you doing over there at Calvary?’” Tarno said. 

    Calvary Refuge is celebrating its 30th year helping the community.

    This isn't the first setback, and Tarno said her community feels the effects of each one.

    “We'll have to pull from another fund to make sure we get that corrected so we can continue to pick up,” Tarno said.

    She told Johnson that the repair could cost up to $1,000.

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