Rising catalytic converter thefts in F-M area are costing some a couple thousand dollars

MOORHEAD, Minn. – Catalytic converters are being stolen off of vehicles in the metro and have been leading to some pretty big replacement costs.

Muffler Man, a Moorhead auto body shop, says it’s seen 14 cars with stolen converters this month and they’ve had even more calls about it.

“The pickup we just got done. That one came to about $800. The Concordia Q Van we have to do tomorrow, that one’s gonna be around $1,500. A 2004 Ford Ranger, he had to put four converters on and the O2 sensors, it was $2,400,” Muffler Man owner Dennis Loock said.

Moorhead Police say it’s had around 12 reports of converter thefts since November.

“Catalytic converters have some metals in there that if you take them to a recycler you can get a couple hundred dollars for them at times. Unfortunately, they’re used for emissions and emission control within a vehicle, so they’re required by law to have them,” Moorhead Police Capt. Deric Swenson said.

So far, it’s been mostly businesses who have been targeted, but there are still cases of cars in driveways that have been victims.

“Most of them take a saw. It only takes about five minutes from them to cut it off. The Prius that was in, they had to jack the car up, unbolt the folds, then cut it off in order to steal it which means they had to have been carrying jacks and wrenches and everything else in order to steal it,” Loock said.

“When they start that vehicle, it’s going to be very loud because it’s a disruption in the exhaust system and it may not run correctly. A lot of people won’t know what’s happening until they bring it to a shop and they’re notified of it,” Capt. Swenson said.

Because this is a crime of opportunity, the best you can do to protect yourself is take away the opportunity.

Moorhead Police says you can do this by parking in well-lit areas and parking near any visible cameras.

Categories: Crime, Local News