Brooklyn Park Police Report 100 Catalytic Converter Thefts So Far This Year
Several northwest metro police departments are asking residents to be vigilant due to a record number of catalytic converter thefts.
“Criminals are pretty brazen and in committing these types of crimes. They’re traveling all over the metro area,” said Maple Grove police Cmdr. Jonathan Wetternach.
Police say thieves like to steal catalytic converters for the precious metals inside the canister and then sell them on the black market.
“The high-risk vehicles are the fuel-efficient ones or the larger vehicles because the fuel-efficient ones have more of the pure metals in them,” explained Wetternach.
Some of the top sought-after vehicles by criminals include the Ford F-250, Toyota Prius, Toyota Tundra, Honda Accord and Honda CRV.
Recently, catalytic converters were stolen from four CCX News vehicles. Brooklyn Park police say they’ve seen such an increase that they’re calling it “an epidemic.”
“We saw a big increase last year and again this year. We’ve had to date, 100 events where catalytic converters were stolen,” said Brooklyn Park Police Deputy Chief Mark Bruley.
Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention Tips
To help prevent catalytic convert thefts, police say don’t park on the street. But if you have to, make sure the area is well lit. Another helpful option to track the crime is having an auto shop engrave the vehicle identification number on the converter.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce has a pilot program where service stations install so-called “CatGuard” labels on the 15 most at-risk vehicles for catalytic converter thefts. Golden Valley Tire and Service is participating in the program.