WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — God Provides Ministries, a charity organization in Waterbury donates to families moving out of homeless shelters and those who lost their belongings in a house fire.

Joseph Ochieng, the founder and president of the organization said they have helped more than 2,700 families in the last five years but that they were robbed last weekend.

“This is to help people that are in need within our community. How are you going to just go to steal from them?” Ochieng said.

Ochieng said they were on their way to deliver furniture to a family who just left a homeless shelter. Volunteers went to start their truck and realized somebody had stolen the catalytic converter.

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“How can somebody do this? This is insane, a cowardly act,” Ochieng said.

This isn’t the first incident. Ochieng said a catalytic converter was cut off about two years ago. He reported it to the police then but was hesitant to report it this time.

“We never heard [about] any leads from the first one. Like, it’s just going to be reporting and nothing’s going to happen,” Ochieng said.

Waterbury police said there were 271 catalytic converters stolen in 2022, and they’re seeing a spike compared to this time last year.

They heard about this latest incident and encouraged Ochieng to report it.

“We can determine any patterns, put together all the information, allocate the necessary resources to those locations to prevent this from happening,” said Lieutenant Ryan Bessette.

Ochieng says God Provides Ministries has another truck they can use, but they’re still stuck with a $1,800 repair bill.

“We don’t have much, so they’re taking from us again. It doesn’t make any sense,” Ochieng said.
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To donate to God Provides Ministries, visit their website here.