Costly catalytic converter thefts on the rise across the Las Vegas valley

LVMPD releases new stats regarding catalytic converter thefts. Police said most thefts don't get reported.
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 8:42 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) -In the time it takes you to read this article, thieves could have sawed off your car’s catalytic converter and be on the run.

A catalytic converter helps clean your car’s exhaust. Thieves steal them for the precious metals inside that can be worth more than gold when melted down. Repairs can cost several thousand dollars for someone without insurance.

People who can’t afford repairs will simply let their cars sit unused.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department released new theft figures to FOX5.

Police said there were 693 reported catalytic converter thefts from January 1 to May 31 of 2021. However, the figure jumped to 1180 during the same time this year. The department said it believes many more thefts go unreported.

Police urge people to park in a garage if possible, to prevent thefts. They said try to park in well lit areas. There are also metal covers that can be bolted or welded over a converter to stop a thief from stealing it. Wire cable cages can also be placed over converters. Authorities also suggest having a VIN or other identifying number etched into your car’s converter and spraying it with bright heat resistant paint that way police can identify a stolen converter if they come across it in a traffic stop, or other circumstances. They also suggest bright colored paint to make the converter noticeable at scrap yards.

While many thefts go unreported, LVMPD urges victims to report thefts so officers can identify any possible theft trends in areas of town.