Greg Premo, City of University Place Police Chief announcement.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed across the country since the start of the pandemic in 2020. Although we have not seen a huge rash of these incidents in U.P., we have dealt with a few cases so I want to share some information on this crime trend so you can hopefully avoid becoming a victim.
Thieves are targeting the theft of catalytic converters from all types of vehicles. Catalytic converters contain a small amount of one of three precious metals (platinum, palladium, or rhodium) that can be recycled for cash—close to $250 depending on the amount and type of metal.
Suspects crawl under the vehicle and use electric metal saws to remove the device. This process doesn’t take long so if you hear a loud sawing noise that seems unusual, don’t ignore it. Investigate and call 911 if you discover suspicious activity. Even interrupting the theft can help save the victim money. A full replacement is far more expensive than just a repair. Take a look at the graphic for more tips to help you avoid being a victim.
An active, engaged citizenry is part of the reason our crime statistics for 2021 are actually looking very positive. Violent crime is down 36 percent and property crimes are down 7 percent compared to 2020. I realize some victims of property crime do not report their incidents for various reasons, but we need this data to help establish crime trends and show the actual depth of the issue. So I encourage all citizens to report property crimes, even if nothing was taken or if there was only minor property damage.
As always, stay safe and let me know if you have any questions.