Catalytic Converter thefts jump 800% in January
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – We’ve been telling you about the growing problem of catalytic converter thefts.
Today, Chattanooga Police sent us some numbers on just how bad it is getting.
In January, they took reports on 36 thefts of catalytic converters.
That is an 800% increase from a year ago, when only 4 were stolen.
Converters are hot commodities now since thieves realized they have precious metals that are valuable to metal dealers.
Police say they now go hunting with saws or snipping tools and can take a converter in just minutes.
“Most people will not even know the converter has been removed until they start their vehicle,” said CPD Auto Theft Investigator Ty Cooper.
“When the vehicle starts it’ll sound kind of like a NASCAR engine and gets louder as the gas pedal is pressed.”
Here are some tips on how you can protect your vehicle:
- Park in well lit areas
- Park close to building entrances or nearest street in public parking lots
- If you have a garage, park in it, close the door, and lock it
- If you have video cameras, position them to capture where your vehicle(s) is parked
- Have the VIN number etched onto the catalytic converter
- Install a catalytic converter specific security device
Chattanooga Police Department want you to report any stolen catalytic converter. Provide any identifying details and evidence that you can. After the act reporting, call the non-emergency number at (423) 698-2525. If you catch a thief in the act, call 9-1-1.
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