Catalytic converter thefts on the rise in Ohio and beyond – WYSO
Catalytic converter thefts have been on the rise throughout Ohio for months. It’s costing car and business owners thousands of dollars. Local law enforcement agencies say they’re doing what they can to stop the thefts. Cory Frolik is a reporter with the Dayton Daily News. He spoke to WYSO’s Jerry Kenney about his recent article and research into the problem.
Catalytic converter thefts are not new. People have been stealing these for a long time. If you look back in 2016 and we had articles that said Ohio was ranked fourth in the nation for these thefts, but it’s gotten bad. And that’s because of the spike in value of the precious metals they contain rhodium, platinum, palladium. So, yes, the Dayton Police Department saw a 38% increase in reports of thefts of motor vehicle parts and accessories this year. They’ve had 136 of these things. I contacted a bunch of other police departments and we’ve seen catalytic converter thefts Riverside, Centreville, Oakwood, Kettering. You know, you see on social media, people complaining about it. You see that neighborhood, online message boards, people are complaining about it. And actually, at a recent Dayton City Commission meeting, a couple of the speakers were business owners in Old North Dayton and one of the things they brought up was catalytic converter thefts. So, I mean, it’s just it’s happening everywhere.
And so, the residents of these communities are feeling the pain as far as cost. It’s causing problems with insurance as well. Tell us what you found there.
Very much so. It is an expensive type of theft. I mean, if you have a catalytic converter stolen, it can cost $1,000, $2,000 to replace it. And, you know, some of these thieves, they’re using power tools to cut them off the vehicles so they can cause all sorts of other damage as well. You know, other pieces, auto parts might need to be replaced as well, which, you know, once again increases the cost. It ruins people’s cars a lot of times and some cars have two of these things and thousands of dollars is a giant cost for, you know, residents and for businesses. The sad part, it’s very hard to protect against these. People have garages so they can put their cars there. There are secured spaces. People can put their vehicles, you know, kind of like maybe if they park on the street, maybe they can park in areas that see a lot of traffic or so b ut, you know, thieves using power tools, they can be in and out in minutes if they know what they’re doing.
I’ve heard as little as 60 to 90 seconds they can be under the car and back out.
That’s unreal. I mean, it’s just incredible.
Corey, I spoke to Officer William Olinger with the Miami Township Police Department in Montgomery County and here’s what he had to say about this being beyond a statewide issue.
*Officer William Olinger audio*: What we think is happening is, is that they’re probably going across state lines. You know, they’re probably selling what they can here and then taking the rest to neighboring states or as far out as they need after they get a certain load of catalytic converters to do that. And from what we hear, it’s very lucrative. *End audio*
Yeah. I mean, people have to resell these and, you know, …….