LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Catalytic converter thieves continue to be quite busy in the Las Vegas area. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police say they have seen 1,103 catalytic converter theft cases from Jan. 1 through Sept. 8.
In that time, police say they’ve made 51 arrests.
Michael Johnson said thieves swiped the catalytic converter from his 2008 Honda Element in August near Tropical Parkway and Losee Road. Video he provided shows a thief took the converter from the car in his driveway in only 46 seconds.
“It’s just crazy how fast they can do it,” said Johnson.
He said no one was home at the time.
“I’m just glad I wasn’t home and didn’t catch the guys myself. If I see somebody on my property and they’re doing something like that, and I was home, somebody probably would have gotten hurt," he said.
Catalytic converters are part of you car’s exhaust system. Police say people steal them for the precious metals inside that are worth more than gold when they’re melted down. It can cost up to a couple thousand dollars, or more, to replace a converter on a standard car. Insurance many times will cover the cost, but people have to pay a deductible, or all of the cost if they don’t have full coverage.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police recently talked to FOX5 about one way to help catch thieves, through Metro’s SafeCam program.
It is a completely voluntary program where people with surveillance systems sign up with metro. If there’s a crime police would call those people who are registered and ask if they spotted anything on their camera.
If something is seen, police would ask to look at that video for anything that might help a case, such as a suspect or car description or license plate. Police say knowing who to call right away saves a lot of time compared to going door to door to find someone who might have good information or video. Police say they are not tapping into anyone's surveillance system and trying to look at what people are doing.
Again, the program is completely voluntary. Anyone interested can go to LVMPD.com for more details about the program. Police have provided the following information to the public to help keep their catalytic converters from being stolen.