Tuscaloosa PD gets proactive to combat catalytic converter thefts
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The Tuscaloosa Police Department has created an operation to combat a recent rise in catalytic converter thefts.
TPD’s Criminal Investigations Division said they have received reports of 78 catalytic converters stolen during 46 incidents since mid-April, 2022. Of those, 40 have been stolen during 25 incidents since June 1.
Thieves have recently stolen from churches, non-profit organizations and other places that may leave work trucks or vans in parking lots of properties that are unoccupied overnight. Frequently-targeted vehicles include trucks, vans, buses and any vehicle that’s high off the ground, according to officers.
During the operation several officers per shift will be assigned to patrol potential target areas. The detail will target people who steal converters and people who purchase them.
TPD analysis shows most of the thefts occur during the overnight hours, but at least one occurred at 8 a.m. on a weekday in downtown Tuscaloosa.
Catalytic converters contain platinum, palladium and rhodium. The value of these precious metals has increased in recent years. Catalytic converters are part of a vehicle’s exhaust system and and can cost thousands of dollars to replace. People who steal them can get a couple hundred dollars when selling them for metals.
TPD investigators are asking business, churches and organizations that fall into the “frequently targeted” category to consider directing any security cameras toward parked vehicles and to report suspicious activity.
In May 22, WBRC talked to experts about protecting your car from catalytic converter thefts.
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