Catalytic converter thefts on the rise

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls police say people are stealing catalytic converters, cutting them right off of vehicles for the precious metals inside. Detectives took six reports Monday and 4 more Tuesday. All together, thieves have gotten away with as many as 50 of them already this year.

A local repair shop says it’s a growing problem and the only way to solve it is it catch people in the act.

Mr. Bendo has been really busy lately and not just with mufflers.

“We did 6 total just on Monday,” said Chad Dubac with Automotive Brake and Exhaust.

Chad Dubac at Automotive Brake and Exhaust just finished replacing two catalytic converters on this truck.

“Typically when these guys get under there and cut them, they’re in a hurry to get in and out. They don’t really care what they are cutting. They cut right through these 02 sensors,” said Dubac.

That can cost a customer anywhere from $400 to well over a thousand.

“Usually they’re all about the same, just shocked as can be. Can’t believe it happened,” said Dubac.

Dubac says they started seeing missing converters last winter, but they’re seeing even more this spring.

“These type here are pretty common on motor homes. Lots of guys going out getting ready to get the motor home fired up and ready for the season and come to find out they’re super loud and already missing the cats on them,” said Dubac.

You can buy a metal kit on the internet to protect you converter, but Dubac says thieves can cut through those as well. The only way to really stop it, is to catch people in the act.

“If you see somebody laying under a car and hear a saw at night, go check it out. Save somebody a lot of money,” said Dubac.

“If people see something, obviously we want them to call. The big thing is somebody crawling underneath a car because that’s not a normal thing, especially if it’s not their car,” said Sioux Falls police officer Sam Clemens.

Right now, Sioux Falls police don’t have any suspects, so anyone with any information should give them a call. That way Mr. Bendo can get back to fixing mufflers.

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