KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — Kansas City police need your help to stop an epidemic of crime that can cost drivers thousands of dollars.
They’ve seen a big surge in the theft of catalytic converters. Last year, the number of thefts jumped to 900. In January of this year, there have been 200 — that’s a pace for 2,400 thefts.
Police say thieves can get under a car and cut off the catalytic converter in two minutes. Higher metal prices is fueling the increase in thefts which can leave drivers with an expensive problem.
Catalytic converters, critical to making your car run correctly, are being stolen by thieves looking for easy cash. It can cost a victim hundreds or thousands of dollars to replace.
“We’re getting victims reporting anywhere from $500 to $2,000, that doesn’t include the fact that they now have been without a vehicle for one, two, three weeks, waiting for a catalytic converter, towing their vehicle to a repair shop,” Sgt. Dawn Jones said.
A pair of thieves were caught on camera stealing catalytic converters from a car parked outside of a South City garage Monday.
Police say there are things you can do to protect yourself from catalytic converter thieves or help catch them.
- You can install an alarm system that goes off if someone gets under your car.
- There are products that work like a cage around the converter, making it harder to remove.
- You can use a UV pen to write your vin number on it, so if police recover it, they can shine a black light on the converter and see the number.