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Catalytic converter thefts are back on the rise

Catalytic Converter Thefts
Posted at 9:23 PM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 23:27:05-04

BALTIMORE — Sawed off and stolen for their precious metal. Victims of catalytic converter thefts are sounding the alarm so you can protect your car.

Catalytic converters, they’re coveted by thieves for the precious metal they’re made of.

They also bring in big bucks at scrap yards.

Tonight the latest Baltimore victim is sounding the alarm, so you can protect yourself.

The hauler you're about to meet lost a thousand dollars worth of work because of the damage. According to Baltimore police these crimes are once again on the rise.

There's no purr of the engine with this pickup, only the sound that something is seriously with Taurus Barksdales’ work truck.

"It sounds like a group of dirt bikes right here, laughs, if I were to drive it, you know it would be even louder because once you push the gas it’s even more," said Barksdale, catalytic converter stolen.

It’s the sound you get when your catalytic converter has been stolen, sawed off in the middle of the night by thieves.

Barksdale who hauls away trash is now down a work vehicle. His truck was parked in the 4500 Block of Finney Ave. when the crime occurred earlier this week.

"I never ever thought it could possibly happen. When it did happen, I did my research and I realized, wow this is a big issue not only in Baltimore City, but around the country," said Barksdale.

Baltimore police say they’ve seen an increase in catalytic converter thefts.

We’ve told you about cars being targeted in Bolton Hill, remember thieves moving quickly to vandalize this Prius in a matter of minutes?

Harlowe Greene remembers when his work vans were targeted off bel-air road.

"Yeah, they ripped out the catalytic converter‘s from all our vans," said Greene, of Northwest Baltimore.

In light of the crimes, Baltimore Police are reminding people to park in well lit areas.

To deter theft, park in a garage, driveway or near a permanent structure.

Your best bet, have the catalytic converter welded to your vehicle or install an anti-theft cover.

It ruins peoples lives.

"Yes it does. It’s expensive on top of insurance, gas," said Harlowe.

They’re all expenses Barksdale now has to deal with. Getting rid of that sound will cost him at least a grand.

To the thieves making money off hardworking Baltimoreans, he has this message.

"There are other ways to get money out here. You’re taking a big risk. Just find another way to make money this right here is not the way to do it," said Barksdale.

And again these thefts are on the rise across the country.

Police are asking all victims to file a police report, it does help when and if someone is caught.

They’re also asking anyone with camera footage to submit it.