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Increase of Catalytic Converter Thefts

City Press Releases, Police Department Press Release

July 8, 2021

PITTSBURG, KANSAS – The Pittsburg Police Department wants to remind citizens to be vigilant in protecting their personal property, specifically the catalytic converters attached to their vehicles. The Pittsburg Police Department has documented 52 reports of catalytic converter thefts during the first six months of this year. The Police Department documented 12 reports of catalytic converters thefts during the last six months of 2020.
A catalytic convertor is part of a vehicle’s exhaust system, and they are targeted by thieves because of precious metals like platinum, palladium, or rhodium contained within them. Thieves can remove a catalytic converter in the matter of a few minutes with the assistance of a battery-powered saw.
Currently in Pittsburg, larger passenger vans, buses, super duty trucks, and recreational vehicles are the primary targets due to their high precious metal content; however, all vehicles should be considered a potential target. Businesses with buses, work trucks or passenger vans have unfortunately fallen victim to these thefts as well as recreational vehicles that are stored and not often checked on. Prosecution in these types of cases can be difficult due to little identification differing stolen converters from others. It can cost a victim up to $2,000 to replace a stolen catalytic converter.

The Pittsburg Police Department would like to encourage citizens to take the following precautions to reduce their risk of becoming a victim of these thefts:

  • Park vehicles in well-lit areas
  • Park vehicles in view of security cameras
  • If in a parking lot, park vehicles near the roadway where routine traffic can deter a theft
  • Block the undercarriage of the vehicle to make it harder for a thief to reach the catalytic converter
  • Calibrate vehicle alarms to set off when it detects vibration
  • Etch a unique owner identification number into the converter and write that number down in the event it is later needed

The Pittsburg Police Department would like to remind citizens to stay vigilant and if you see suspicious activity, please report it to the Pittsburg Police Department by calling dispatch at 620-231-1700. If you have information about criminal activity or knowledge of stolen property, you can leave an anonymous tip at our tip line, 620-231-TIPS (8477).


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