Police warn thieves are stealing catalytic converters

Police warn thieves are stealing catalytic converters

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The Chesterfield Police Department is warning several apartment communities that thieves are stealing catalytic converters from cars.

“Within the last week, there have been multiple catalytic converters stolen from vehicles while they are parked in their respective apartment community properties.  It only takes a few minutes for this item to be taken and it is likely that even if a car has an alarm, detaching this piece would not activate the alarm.
Message from CCPD Crime Preventions Specialist for Multi-Family Housing

Catalytic converters are important parts of a vehicle, they are a part of the exhaust system and help reduce pollution from a vehicle. CCPD says most of the converters are being reported stolen at night or early in the morning.

Between Dec. 2 and Jan. 2, police say 16 catalytic converters were stolen.

On Dec. 2, 2018:

  • Three catalytic converters were reported stolen from vehicles at Addison at Swift Creek apartments
  • Two catalytic converters were reported stolen from vehicles at Colonial Village at Waterford apartments

On Dec. 3, 2018:

  • One catalytic converter was reported stolen from a vehicle at Old Buckingham Station Apartments.

On Dec. 4, 2018:

  • One catalytic converter was reported stolen from a vehicle at Old Buckingham Station Apartments.

On Dec. 5, 2018:

  • One catalytic converter was reported stolen from a vehicle at Creekpointe Apartments.
  • One catalytic converter was reported stolen from a vehicle at The Grove at Swift Creek apartments.

On Dec. 6, 2018:

  • One catalytic converter was reported stolen from a vehicle at The Grove at Swift Creek apartments.

On Dec. 12, 2018:

  • One catalytic converter was reported stolen from a vehicle at Old Buckingham Station Apartments.

On Dec. 30, 2018:

  • Two catalytic converters were reported stolen from vehicles at Rollingwood Estates Apartments.
  • One catalytic converter was reported stolen from a vehicle at Bristol Village apartments.

On Dec. 31, 2018:

  • One catalytic converter was reported stolen from a vehicle at Enclave at the Green apartments.

On Jan. 2, 2019:

  • One catalytic converter was reported stolen from a vehicle at Old Buckingham Station Apartments.

Michael George, co-owner of S&O Automotive, says the parts are likely stolen to make a profit, and it takes just minutes for someone to use a saw and get away with the converter.

“They can get anywhere from $5 for a universal converter or if it’s manufacturer specific, they can get upwards of $300 for them,” George explained. “They use it for the platinum that’s inside of the converter, that’s a rare metal and worth a lot of money.”

George says thieves typically look for areas that are not well lit, or apartment complexes to find vehicles that are higher off the ground and easier to get underneath.

It doesn’t take long to realize the part is missing, there is usually a distinct sign.

“The conversion’s been cut off -- you can really hear it -- it sounds like the muffler fell off," he said.

George says repairs can cost thousands of dollars, and take anywhere from a day or a week to fix.

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