Numbers show catalytic converter thefts continue to skyrocket in Las Vegas

New figures from Las Vegas police show catalytic converter thefts continue to skyrocket in Las Vegas.
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 7:28 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - New figures of reported catalytic converter thefts from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department show a big jump in thefts from before the Covid pandemic to now.

Here are the number of reported catalytic converter thefts, year-to-date, from January until August.

  • 2017- 4
  • 2018- 5
  • 2019- 26
  • 2020- 471
  • 2021- 1076
  • 2022- 1783

The spike to 471 in 2020 happened during the Covid pandemic. Metro has told FOX5 people were desperate and looking to make a quick buck back then.

Thieves can steal a catalytic converter in under a minute and are going after the precious metals inside. Those metals help clean a car’s exhaust. Some of those metals are worth more than gold and are melted down. Repairs can cost thousands of dollars for people without insurance. Some drivers will let their cars sit unused because they can’t afford to fix them.

Police advise people to park cars in garages if possible, or in well-lit areas. Local authorities have also urged people to vin etch their converters and paint them with bright heat-resistant paint. That will help police identify a stolen converter if they come across one, along with a suspect. Local companies will also install steel plates over converters, which makes them much harder to steal. Businesses can also install a wire cable cage around a converter. Some do-it-yourself cages can be purchased online.

Police say many thefts go unreported and the actual number is much higher. Police ask people to report a catalytic converter theft because that will help officers identify trends and where they are happening. Metro Police have joined forces with other area law enforcement agencies to form a catalytic converter theft task force.