Battle Creek Police have noticed a recent increase in the theft of catalytic converters from cars across the community, and want to share helpful tips and things to look for.
For their part, police are doing extra patrols in targeted areas, including near car dealerships, car repair shops, and areas where cars are generally stored. The BCPD Fusion Center is tracking local trends and patterns in these thefts, and is working with other law enforcement agencies to develop suspect profiles.
Things to know about this type of theft, and when to call for help:
- People commonly use battery-powered reciprocating saws and battery-powered grinders to cut off catalytic converters. If you see someone walking at odd hours with these tools, call 911 to have officers check into it.
- These tools make a lot of noise, and sometimes create sparks. If you hear someone sawing or grinding on metal during the night, and it’s not a familiar sound where you live, call 911.
- If you see people checking cars or getting under cars in your neighborhood, and it seems suspicious, call 911.
- Catalytic converters look similar to a muffler. If you see someone walking in your neighborhood with one of these, for no apparent reason, call 911.
- Thieves target hybrid vehicles more often, because their catalytic converters contain more rare metals, and are worth more money when sold.
- Thieves also target trucks and SUVs more often, because they are easier to get under.
Help prevent this from happening to you:
- At night, park your car in your driveway, or in your garage with the door shut. Do not part on the street if possible.
- If you can, make your driveway well-lit. Consider using security cameras, doorbell cameras, and motion cameras to help deter would-be thieves.
- When in public, park your car near a building entrance or an access road. These areas have more traffic and visibility.
- Avoid parking in a large, deserted area overnight when possible, like park-and-rides or closed businesses.