Local businesses help nonprofit after vans were vandalized

Updated: November 19, 2019 06:33 PM

Some local businesses are stepping up to help out after a recent 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS story about a local charity that was targeted by thieves.

We Win Institute discovered all of their vans had their catalytic converters cut off early Thursday morning at its Minneapolis headquarters.


"When I saw the story, I certainly knew that we could help out the situation,” said Joe Stranik, an owner of a Midas on University Avenue in St. Paul.

Stranik called up the staff at We Win and told them to bring the vans to his repair shop.

We Win helps more than 250 at-risk and underprivileged students from Minneapolis schools with a variety of mentoring, educational and social activities. But with the vans out of commission, the organization had to temporarily cancel some of its programs.

"We put a call into one of our main suppliers, Napa, and they said, 'We'll send the catalytic converters to you no charge,'” Stranik said. “We obviously can provide the labor and know how to do it, and so between the two of us we can get these vans back on the road."

The repairs would normally cost about $2,000 for each van.

Minneapolis Police said there has been a spike in catalytic converter thefts in the city due to high metal prices.

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Eric Chaloux

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