Police respond to uptick of catalytic converter thefts

Seekonk Police Department said these catalytic converter thefts come in hot and cold spurts with different groups of people hitting surrounding towns. 

SEEKONK, Mass. (WLNE)- Police nationwide and also locally have seen an uptick in catalytic converter thefts. The piece of the exhaust system has piqued the interest of thieves who steal the piece of metal and sell it for hundreds of dollars.

A catalytic converter takes a vehicles toxic gasses and converts them into less harmful byproducts. Seekonk Detective Keith Perry told ABC6 on Wednesday the increase in precious metal makes these converters more appealing to criminals who steal them.

“As the value of precious metal goes up the likely hood of the thefts goes up as well,” Detective Perry told ABC6.

One of the most concerning details is how fast the theft could happen, especially in highly populated areas, like parking lots and car dealerships.

“When they do it a lot, they get very good at it,” Det. Perry explained. “They can have it done within minutes. It takes like a minute and a half, two minutes to cut it off.”

Seekonk Police Department said these catalytic converter thefts come in hot and cold spurts with different groups of people hitting surrounding towns.

Tracing back a catalytic converter is nearly impossible, since they have no markings to track back to it’s owner.

Detective Perry said the one way law enforcement has been able to combat these crimes is by sharing information with neighboring police departments.

“Everyone’s done a really good job of keeping everyone on the same page. We share information very well. Much better than we had in years past.”

Stealing a catalytic converter is a felony.

Police said to prevent this from happening, always park in well-lit areas and if you have surveillance cameras be sure they work at night.

Categories: Massachusetts, News, Regional News