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Columbus man warns of catalytic converter thieves

James Hollis told News Leader 9 someone cut the catalytic converter off of the church van he drives at Riverview Baptist church in Columbus. He said, about a month ago, when he went out to crank up the van, he realized something was wrong, when it made a loud noise. According to him he called the cops and filed a police report.
Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 11:14 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - One Columbus man warns, thieves are on the loose in the Fountain City, and you might be surprised by what he says they’re stealing.

James Hollis told News Leader 9 someone cut the catalytic converter off of the church van he drives at Riverview Baptist church in Columbus. He said, about a month ago, when he went out to crank up the van, he realized something was wrong, when it made a loud noise. According to him he called the cops and filed a police report.

“And I crank it up and it scared me so I bail out. So I know something was wrong with it and I got a towel and got on my knees and looked up under it and saw the converter was gone.”, said Hollis. “We work hard around here. We are God’s people. And all the money we have is what people give.”

According to Hollis, the church also filed a claim with their insurance. He told News Leader 9, the cost to replace the converter would cost about $1,500. He’s concerned whoever is responsible will come back and try to do the same thing again, and next time insurance won’t cover the damage.

“The police came out and said it was a lot of that going on,“ explained Hollis. “Ain’t no sense in hating them for it. We forgave them for it. We just hope they don’t do it again.”

Carrie Lynn Martin is the manager of Federal Recycling and Waste in Columbus. She told News Leader 9, the converters can be sold from anywhere to $2 to $900. According to her, people are interested in the automotive part, because of the recyclable materials inside, like platinum, copper, or gold. She added, it’s also illegal for scrap yards to buy catalytic converters without proof of ownership. Also, she said you have to have a receipt if you changed it yourself and try to sell it.

“Catalytic converters is on the muffler system. It basically works as a filter for the emissions and it helps reduce the pollutants that go into the atmosphere.”, said Martin. “They steal them because there are different various recyclable metals that are in it, where they cut them off and try to sell them to scrap yards or anybody else who sell them. You have to have the receipt where you had it changed in your vehicle. On the receipt it’ll have the make model and vin information on your vehicle.”

Carrie Martin told News Leader 9, the best way to protect yourself from catalytic converters being stolen off of your car is by putting it in a garage or somewhere you can ensure someone can’t get to it.