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Catalytic converter thefts growing in Central Texas

Posted at 10:46 PM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 16:06:46-04

The catalytic converter is not the first thing that comes to mind when talking about cars, but the converter is a hot item for burglars in Central Texas. Unfortunately, that is something Monica Mackay learned the hard way.

“My lawn guy is over and I went to go get them some cash until I get in my car and heard a noise,” said Copperas Cove Resident Monica Mackay.

In May when she heard the noise, she assumed her catalytic converter went bad but it went missing.

“The guy who works on my car says all the time I took them about 30 seconds and they used something called a high-powered saw,” said Mackay.

Local Business owner Jamaira Ovrestreet watched two people steal a converter from a company car of a neighboring business.

“We both had our trucks out front and my ring doorbell centered somebody driving past and actually got his catalytic converter,” said Ovrestreet.

Ovrestreet said she got the thief's license plate and filed a police report.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the crime skyrocketed by 326 percent from 2019 to 2020. Mainly because catalytic converters contain precious metals which can be sold from $1,000 to more than $14,000 but this part could also cost victims thousands to replace.

“It would probably cost him about 1000 to 2000. If they were to get mine because mine is a lot of truck and use his depth, that will cost me about $6000,” said Ovrestreet.

Local mechanics say there is several ways to prevent this from happening:

Park in well-lit areas, get a protective sheet cover around your converter, and park in the garage.