FULTON COUNTY, Ga — Police in Fulton County say they keep seeing thefts from cars, but not in the place you’d expect.
Thieves are cutting catalytic converters from the bottom of cars and trucks. Roswell police say they have seen around two dozen catalytic converter thefts since May.
Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach was in Roswell on Thursday, where one business just got hit again.
Thieves targeted Ed Castro Landscaping sometime over the weekend, stealing three catalytic converters from work trucks. The company says it’s a recurring problem.
“These thieves tend to target vehicles with a higher profile that they can get under easily without having to jack up the vehicles,” police said. “The right thief with the right tools can get in and out from under your vehicle with a catalytic converter in hand in under 60 seconds.”
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The thefts are usually overnight, targeting areas with multiple vehicles like businesses, apartment complexes, or dealerships.
Police say these thieves target rare metals inside catalytic converters that can fetch several hundred dollars at a recycling yard and would cost the victim a few thousand dollars to replace.
Ruben Uribe’s sedan was targeted in May outside his Roswell business. It cost him $2,400 dollars to replace just one catalytic converter.
“I turned the car on and it immediately sounded like a tractor-trailer,” Uribe said. “I don’t know how much they get, but it cost me a lot of money. The car’s not worth that much, and the other is definitely not worth that much.”
Uribe has since added on steel plates designed to deter any catalytic converter theft and installed new security cameras.
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Police say the aftermarket parts can help protect your car, but they really need people to watch for anything unusual and catch thieves in the act.
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“Our more successful investigations and arrest in these catalytic converter thefts have been a result of witnesses calling us about suspicious behavior.,” a police spokesperson said.
Some state lawmakers tried addressing the problem during their last session, introducing part of a bill to make it illegal to sell any used or detached converter, which would take away the market for them and hopefully reducing such thefts.
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