MUPD reports stolen catalytic converters
Maj. Brian Weimer asked the MU community to report any suspicious activity.
Mar. 08, 2016
The MU Police Department has received seven reports of catalytic converters being stolen from vehicles in various parking lots around MU, according to a news release Tuesday. The thefts are believed to have occurred last Thursday and Friday.
The catalytic converter is part of a car’s exhaust system that helps reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released while driving. Catalytic converters include small amounts of precious metals such as platinum, palladium and gold, which can be melted down and sold, making them a prime target for thieves.
Malachi Owens, owner of K&M Auto Salvage, said large parking lots with many cars and few bystanders are often targeted.
“They’re hard to track when they are stolen because there’s no identifying marks,” Owens said. “If you’re not caught in the act of actually stealing it off of the car, it’s near impossible to prove which car (a catalytic converter) came off of.”
Owens said that catalytic converters can be sold for anywhere between $5 and $300, depending on the amount of precious metal the converter contains. He said that more expensive models and larger vehicles such as trucks and SUVs are typically equipped with more expensive catalytic converters.
In order to steal a catalytic converter, thieves must get under the car and cut it loose from the vehicle. According to the news release, any suspicious activity, such as a person loitering in a parking lot, carrying a “cutting device” or getting under a parked car, should be reported to MUPD.
Maj. Brian Weimer said this crime is not unheard of on campus. He encouraged the MU community to “keep their eyes open” and let MUPD know if they see anything suspicious.
“The number one thing is just informing the community so you have that many more eyes and ears out there to help,” Weimer said.
Edited by Taylor Blatchford | email@example.com