EAST MEADOW - AHRC, an agency that helps disabled individuals, says a thief stole catalytic converters from eight of their wheelchair accessible vans and two from their caravans.

The vehicles are used to pick up disabled adults and children so they can be transported to rehabilitation programs.

Robert Ciatto, of AHRC, says his employees discovered the thefts Wednesday morning.

Police say someone crawled under the vans that were parked on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow and made off with the expensive exhaust system. They say catalytic converters are easy to steal and contain platinum and rhodium. Those two metals are worth $1,400 per pound in scrap metal yards.

Police say the thefts have been a recent trend on Long Island. Rockville Centre police say 14 catalytic converters were stolen from vehicles on Long Beach Road earlier this month.

Anyone with information about the thefts is urged to call Nassau Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.