IPD Warns of Rise in Catalytic Converter Thefts

IPD released the following statement today regarding the theft of Catalytic Converters in Independence

“We have seen an increase in reported catalytic converter thefts compared to this same time last year. In 2019, we had 19 total reported cases through September, October, and November. In 2020, we had 131 total reported cases during these same three months. Some of these individual cases involve several catalytic converters stolen at one time in business parking lots. We have learned that this is a Kansas City metro wide issue not only occurring in Independence. Reasons for this increase could be due to a variety of factors. An increase in the precious metals recycled from catalytic converters, vehicles are parked longer because of COVID and less travel, and financial instability has encouraged more of this type of crime. These thefts occur in a matter of minutes and involve a thief crawling under a vehicle and cutting the catalytic converter off with hand or power tools.There are some steps to can take to lessen the risk of becoming a victim of these thefts:· Always park in well-lit areas when possible.· If you have a personal garage, keep your car in the garage with the door closed when the vehicle is not in use.· Park close to a building entrance or to the nearest access road when parking in a public lot.· Security devices are available that attach to the converter, making it harder to steal.· Having the converter welded in place also makes it more difficult to remove.· If you have a security system on your car, calibrate it so vibration sets it off. This ensures the alarm activates if a thief tries to saw off the converter.· Video surveillance around your garage or driveway is also useful if you have the budget for it.· Consider having your VIN number or license plate number engraved onto your catalytic converter to make it easier to identify in case it does get stolen.The City of Independence has an ordinance (SEC. 5.19.004) covering secondary metal recyclers, which includes specific requirements for the sale of catalytic converters. Metal recyclers are required to keep detailed records of transactions of sale. Some of the required records include a copy of the driver’s license or state ID of the person who is selling them. The recyclers must document the date, time and place of the transactions and the license plate number, color, and style or make of any motor vehicle used by the seller used in their delivery. Additionally, they must document the full description of the metal, including the quantity by weight and purchase price. We encourage everyone to remain vigilant of this crime and to report any suspicious activity to 911 and call us to report these thefts. If you have specific information about any individuals or businesses involved in this type of crime, we ask that you call our IPD tips hotline at (816) 325-7777 or email leads@indepmo.org

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