Residents are being warned to be on the lookout for thieves
involved in catalytic converter thefts. Throughout the 11-county metropolitan
area, which includes Wright County, the number of catalytic converter thefts
has skyrocketed over the past few months.
Thieves target catalytic converters because they
contain platinum, which can be sold to scrapyards and precious metal dealers
very quickly. The vehicles most often targeted at Honda vehicles and the Toyota
Prius. The replacement cost of a catalytic converter is anywhere between $900
and $2,500 depending on the vehicle.
What people should be on the lookout for is a person
working under a vehicle in a parking lot, a person with an electric grinder or
saw working on a vehicle, cutting or grinding noises heard while someone is under
a vehicle or someone working on a vehicle in a public parking lot (apartment
buildings, malls, grocery stores, etc.).
Because the converters can be removed relatively
quickly, thieves are being brazen in their approach, often committing their
crimes in broad daylight in crowded areas.
If you witness any of this suspicious behavior, you
are urged to contact law enforcement, whether it is the Wright County Sheriff’s
Office or a city police department.