Crime Stoppers: Police searching for vehicle connected to catalytic converter thefts

"We've had numerous incidents all around Charlotte and we believe this particular group is responsible for the majority of it. "
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 7:48 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) -Detectives from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department are hoping to identify the people who have been stealing catalytic converters from cars in the Charlotte area. Detective Rick Smith, the CMPD’s Crime Stoppers coordinator, said police have seen an uptick in converter thefts in the last few months.

“Within a matter of seconds, they just come up to your vehicle and cut the converter right out from underneath your vehicle,” explained Smith.

The detective said that surveillance footage obtained by CMPD shows two people attempting to steal a catalytic converter from a car in a Charlotte parking lot. The video shows one person use a jack to raise the vehicle while another crawls under the car. Smith said the people abandoned their attempt to steal a converter when they were spotted by someone else in the parking lot. The video shows the people get back in a Toyota Camry and drive off. Smith said the incident happened within the last year.

“They steal them for the metals contained in the converter and they’re selling those metals for hundreds or even thousands of dollars,” explained Smith.

The detective explained that while it is easy for thieves to steal the converters, there are ways for car owners to safeguard their vehicles.

“You can have some type of unique identifying number etched into the catalytic converter and you can also have anti-theft devices put on your vehicle to alarm when someone gets close to your vehicle,” said Smith.

The detective said that police believe the individuals traveling in the Toyota Camry have been responsible for several catalytic converter thefts in the Charlotte area.

“We’ve had numerous incidents all around Charlotte and we believe this particular group is responsible for the majority of it,” said Smith.

Anyone with information about the catalytic converter thefts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. Tipsters can remain anonymous and they can receive a cash reward if they have information that leads to an arrest. Community members can also submit tips about crimes through the P3 Tips app.

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