Catalytic converter thefts on the rise; “It’s happened in the past, but I’ve never seen it this bad.”

Regional News

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise according to Fayetteville Police.

At KNWA/FOX24, an employee’s daughter dealt with this personally and shared her experience.

“My dad actually called me the night before I took it and said, ‘Hey I saw this thing about catalytic converters being stolen,'” said Sarah Cumpston. “I thought, ‘Absolutely not, that would never happen to me’ but, sure enough the next day… there we go.”

Cumpston said it all began when she heard a loud noise coming from underneath her car.

“I took it down to be looked at and the guy who crawled under the car said, ‘Yeah your problem is you’ve been robbed.'”

This resulted in yet another catalytic converter replacement for Ethan Gazaway at Razorback Muffler in Farmington.

“It’s happened in the past, but I’ve never seen it this bad,” Gazaway said. “We have a parking lot full right now.”

This has caused a spike in theft crimes Sgt. Tony Murphy said the Fayetteville Police Department is now responding to.

“They can slide right under them and cut the muffler off in no time,” Sgt. Murphy said.

While the catalytic converter does not look like much, Razorback Muffler said it is crucial for cars to have- acting as basically an air filter for the exhaust system. But, what makes it valuable to thieves are the precious metals inside the converters.

“They’re scrapping the contents of the converter and getting some pretty good money,” Gazaway said.

This makes people, like Cumpston, have to pay the price.

“It’s gonna be a pretty tremendous hassle,” Cumpston said. “It’s gonna cost probably about $400.”

Gazaway said it can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars to replace catalytic converters.

“I’ve had to take off a little bit of time off of work,” Cumpston said. “I don’t know how long it’s gonna take to get my car back.”

Both Gazaway and Sgt. Murphy said while it is hard to protect your car from this, it can help to park in well-lit areas with security cameras.

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