ONLY ON 8: Local organizations replace stolen catalytic converter for disabled veterans

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Two disabled veterans on a fixed income did not know what to do when their catalytic converter was stolen this week.

On Wednesday, when roommates James Swain and Chris Spierer — two disabled veterans with limited mobility — were trying to go to the grocery store, they heard a loud noise coming from their car.

A simple check underneath the vehicle revealed a deep cut; their catalytic converter was stolen.
“It was just so stressful,” Swain said. “All I did was want to sleep.”

8 News Now first introduced viewers to Swain and Spiere on Thursday.

They said due to their fixed income as retired veterans, they could not afford to replace the catalytic converted on their Kia Sportage.

That is when 8 News Now stepped in to help. We reached out to Findlay Kia, who started finding a solution — to give back to two veterans who sacrificed so much for all of us.

“The ability to help them and what it’s going to do for their day moving forward, it’s irreplaceable,” Findlay Kia Assistant General Manager Scott Crockett said.

The catalytic converter that was needed was discontinued by the manufacturer, but Findlay Kia used their connections with Best Muffler Shop to find the correct car part.

Sparks flew as the catalytic converter was put into place. Best Muffler Shop did it all for free.

“It’s good that we can help somebody out, especially someone in need,” Best Muffler Shop Manager Dan Demello said. “They can’t get around and need their car, you know. We had to help out.”

After a complimentary car service and cleanup at Findlay Kia, it was time to go back to Swain and Spierer’s apartment.

Upon seeing the Kia Sportage, and hearing the engine start without a hitch, there was a sigh of relief and a feeling of gratitude. 

The two heroes are now able to move forward.
“So much thanks to Channel 8 and the Findlay people for doing this for us,” Swain said.

Even in the darkest times, there are bright lights willing to help.
“We still have good people in this community,” Spierer said.

8 News Now received several emails and tweets from our viewers who wanted to help. Swain and Spierer are thankful for your support.

Catalytic converter thefts have been on the rise in Las Vegas. Experts say the vehicles most likely to be targeted are larger ones, such as trucks, SUV’s, and RV’s.

To protect your cars, park in a well-lit lot. You can also buy some tools for extra security.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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