Thieves targeting catalytic converters in cars

Posted at 4:24 PM, Dec 25, 2012

MURRAY, Utah - A Salt Lake City man is warning others after thieves make off with his catalytic converter, just days before Christmas.

Michael Berry’s car was parked at Fashion Place Mall on Sunday. He finished a shift, came out, and headed home before he knew something was wrong.

“I started the car and it sounded like a farm machine,” says Berry. “I didn’t figure it out until I got home, where my neighbor told me it was the catalytic converter had been cut out.”

Berry had to pay around $350 to replace the part, money he says is difficult to come by. He’s already working two jobs to try and pay off mounting medical bills.

“It angers you,” says Berry. “I just can’t believe that they could do this. And do it so fast.”

Mechanic Kenneth Eddards says it’s a common theft, but one that like many thefts, typically spikes around the holiday.

“They go after the trucks, because they’re a little easier to crawl underneath,” says Eddards. “Within a minute, you can have one cut out and gone.”

Thieves target the catalytic converter for the precious metal inside. Mechanics say police are taking steps to try and prevent thefts, primarily through tagging parts. But it’s difficult to prosecute if cops can’t catch the thieves in the act.

Unified Police didn’t have exact numbers on thefts, but say it’s a difficult one to prevent as well, since you can’t necessarily lock up the part. The best thing to do is be vigilant with parked cars, and try to park in a well-lit spot.