Las Vegas church says protective device didn’t stop catalytic converter theft

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 7:22 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Catalytic converter thieves have been a real pain for CCLV Church off Bonanza near Pecos roads.

“We have unfortunately been hit eight times over the last three years,” said Pastor Elvin Hayes Jr.

The church hoped installing some wire cable cages around catalytic converters on its vans would keep thieves away. It didn’t for one van. The church believes on Monday night thieves stole a van’s converter, which had the anti-theft device in place.

“Even with enough time, thieves were able to get around those as well,” said Pastor Hayes.

He added, “It’s frustrating. It’s violating.”

Catalytic converters are part of a car’s exhaust. Precious metals are used to clean the exhaust. Thieves are taking converters because some of the precious metals are worth more than gold. Thieves can cut off a converter in less than a minute. Some people in the valley must park their cars because they can’t afford the expensive repairs which can be $1500 or more.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department just provided new figures to FOX5 that show a nearly 40 percent jump in reported catalytic converter thefts from 2021 to 2022. FOX5 asked Metro Police what it’s doing to crack down. And we asked how many arrests the catalytic converter theft task force has made, but the department declined to comment.

CCLV church says it stopped filing police reports and is not using insurance for the thefts. Pastor Hayes says the church is considering selling the vans because they keep getting hit by thieves.