JEERS to thieves who have blighted our area in recent days.

Last week, it was reported that the Plattsburgh Salvation Army had the catalytic converter stolen off its van, which they use to deliver items of need to many in our community.

The theft was costly in many ways. It prevented the Salvation Army from making crucial deliveries at a time when they are needed most.

With the holiday season fast approaching as well as cold weather, there are many in our community in need of food, warm clothing and household items.

Without a van for a few days, the deliveries were stunted, affecting many.

It also was costly to the tune of about $4,000 to replace.

The Salvation Army is funded largely through donations and a bill that steep would be devastating to the organization.

The annual Red Kettle Drive brings in the bulk of funds the Army needs to complete its mission each year, but it would take a lot of extra bell-ringing and extra donations to make up for a $4,000 bill.

Fortunately, Rolla Parker III of Parker Chevrolet in Champlain came to the rescue. Parker kindly offered to replace and repair the converter system on the Army's van.

Parker said he understood the mission of the Salvation Army and how it was especially important now, in this season of Thanksgiving.

While we JEER those who committed the theft, we offer a hearty CHEERS to Parker for his noble and gracious gesture.

No doubt, the converter thieves are looking to make a quick buck by selling the precious metals used to make a converter, which can go for thousands of dollars for just a few ounces.

There have been several other converter thefts in the area in recent days so folks should be warned. Park in closed garages if you can or under a street light.

Catalytic converters were not the only high-profile item stolen last week. Someone boosted the Champy sign on Cumberland Head.

The large maroon cast-iron sign, which weighs about 200 pounds, was taken off its pole in the dead of night. The thieves must have had some heavy-duty tools and at least a pickup truck to carry out the deed.

The sign was donated to the Town of Plattsburgh from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation Legends and Lore program in 2019 as a way of educating the public, including numerous tourists to our area, about the legendary sea monster that lives in Lake Champlain.

This could also be a theft designed to make a quick buck by selling the cast iron, but we could also see this as being some kind of prank. If it is a prank, it certainly is not very well-thought out. How long before a bragging thief is caught with the goods?

Either way, it's not cool to steal a public informational sign, and we hope whoever did can find a way to make sure it gets back to its rightful place, even if it is done anonymously.


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