Catalytic converters are a hot commodity for thieves these days.
In recent days, there have been at least five cases of such crimes in Milledgeville, local authorities say.
Several businesses were hit in the area of Wayne Street in recent days. In one incident on Jan. 11, a catalytic converter was discovered missing from a childcare facility bus. In another incident on the same day, it was discovered that a converter was cut out of a Dodge Ram van, according to a Milledgeville police report.
According to the incident report, the van was brought to a shop on East Hancock Street for maintenance and it was discovered that the converter had been cut out. The van had been at the location for about a week.
Catalytic converters are key components of vehicle emission systems. They help reduce the amount of pollution going out of vehicle tailpipes and into the air.
Stolen catalytic converters are often sold to scrap metal businesses. They are made of types of metal, including palladium, which is found in the core. These metals are in heavy demand due to global supply chain shortages and they are selling at inflated prices.
Since they are not traceable because they have no serial number or any other way to identify them, there is no way to know whether or not they are stolen.
So, how do vehicle owners know whether or not their vehicle’s catalytic converter has been stolen?
One sure way is by cranking up the vehicle.
It will make a loud noise because the thief or thieves likely removed the catalytic converter by cutting it out. It’s likely they didn’t take the time to reattach the exhaust pipes in its place.
There are ways to help prevent becoming a victim, however.
One way is by using the vehicle’s alarm system. Another way is to park your vehicle in a well-lighted area or where it can easily be seen by other people or inside a garage. Another way is by equipping the vehicle with a dashcam.