East Alabama sees increase in catalytic converter thefts

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 8:23 AM EST
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LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WTVM) - Law enforcement in the Auburn-Opelika area are warning residents of an increase in catalytic converter thefts within the past few weeks.

It only takes a few minutes to saw off this car piece from the bottom of your car, also known as a catalytic converter. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the part contains valuable metals that can be resold for as little as 50 dollars or up to thousands of dollars per ounce.

A catalytic converter is a metal emissions control device in the exhaust system found underneath a vehicle.

An Auburn resident, who wishes to remain anonymous had his stolen Sunday night. He didn’t notice until the next day when he got into his car, and it started making a loud noise.

“We noticed that the part was sawed off underneath and turns out my roommate was a witness to what happened. It was about 1:30 a.m. when he heard something outside.”

That’s when his roommate heard a loud sawing noise and ran outside.

“He saw a black sedan outside and as soon as he saw them, they whipped straight down the street and were out of sight.”

He says Auburn police told him 20 catalytic converter thefts had taken place within the last three days of his incident.

Advance Auto Parts employee Lorenzia Smith says if your car makes a loud roar when you start the car, your catalytic converter has been removed. Smith says a catalytic converter shield guard can give you the ultimate protection.

“There is a case you can put around it, and it doesn’t stop them from stealing your catalytic converter it just makes it a little difficult to get to and time consuming,” said Smith.

If you notice your catalytic converter has been stolen, contact your local police department and file a report.