Vans vandalized at south Minneapolis nonprofit that helps school children

Updated: November 15, 2019 08:42 PM

Staff at WE WIN Institute have had to cancel programs due to crooks taking catalytic converters off all three of their vans overnight Wednesday.

Minneapolis police say they’ve seen a recent spike in catalytic converter thefts off vehicles due to an increase in metal prices.


"It really has been a nightmare," said Titilayo Bediako, the institute's director. "I think what makes it worse is the children they hurt the most are children who depend on us."

WE WIN helps more than 250 at-risk, underprivileged students from Minneapolis schools with a variety of mentoring, educational and social activities at their building at 3751 S. 17th Avenue.

Bediako said it’s been tough on the children's learning programs. Some of these have been canceled because of the transportation problems.

"They actually started crying. It was really sad. We said we had an emergency with the vans,” Bediako said. “It’s kind of hard to say some people just kind of stole pieces from the van — for no good reason because we can't see a good reason."

Minneapolis Police said the spike in metal thefts have been reported around the city.

You can learn more about WE WIN at the organization's website

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Eric Chaloux

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