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Catalytic converters’ monetary value makes them a targeted item to steal from under cars

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 9:09 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - A piece of your car has become so valuable, theft of that car part continues to rise across the nation.

A catalytic converter can be re-sold for a lot of money, and it can easily be taken off a car. The part is a exhaust emission control device under your car, and more and more of them are being stolen, even right here in Sioux City.

“We’ve had 34 catalytic converter thefts reported last year. And we’re already reaching that number thus far this year. So we are seeing an increase in those thefts,” said Valerie Rose, SCPD Crime Prevention Officer.

Why does that number continues to rise? They’re easy enough to saw off in just a few minutes.

“They’re doing this these full cuts, taking this and then they go to a recycler to sell them. There’s a number on each one of these that they use to determine how much it’s worth. Sometimes they get burned out on the inside, so they’re not worth as much. But generally when they’re stealing them off a functioning car, they are in perfectly good shape and worth top dollar,” said Paul Yanacheak, Jensen Imports Service Manager.

A catalytic converter can be sold anywhere from $100 to $1,000. But law enforcement says there are ways to prevent yours from getting stolen from under your car.

“You can add your VIN number or your license plate number on the catalytic converter itself. That’ll help detour the crime, but it’ll also help in identification. And it’ll help law enforcement as far as tying back that catalytic converter back to the victim or the person that made that report,” said Rose.

Officer Rose says people should always try to park their car in a well-lit, heavily traveled area. People can also install an anti-theft catalytic converter cage or shield.

If people know their converter has been stolen, they should always report it to the police department. That’s because investigators are able to link older cases to new ones, and follow up on leads.

“Recently, the reports have come to a halt. That is due in part to the fact that we have followed up on some leads, and we have identified some individuals that we think were involved in these thefts. They have been charged with some other criminal matters, and we’re believing that they’ve possibly moved out of the area. So that is a good thing,” said Rose.

The Sioux City Police Department has formed a partnership with the FBI that allows detectives to follow up on investigation leads out of state as well.

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