Denison taking steps to lower catalytic convertor thefts

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 7:07 PM CST
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(KXII) -A wave of catalytic converter thefts is sweeping the nation, more than 14,000 every year.

That’s more than triple the number reported just four years ago by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

“They’re so quick and easily removed, that’s why it’s become such a big deal,” said Denison Police Chief Mike Gudgel.

So what is a catalytic converter?

Joe Pascone, Service Director for Vanguard Buick GMC said, “basically it’s a part underneath the vehicle that is attached to your exhaust system that actually helps to disperse and make the fumes that come out to the vehicle not as toxic and harmful.”

But it’s the precious metal inside these parts that the thieves are after, “these things cost a lot of money and they can get a lot of money from these catalytic converters,” said Chief Gudgel.

In 2021, Denison Police worked 57 catalytic converter theft calls.

“They just crawl under there and cut the bolts and they’re gone or they’ll have hand held Sawzall and cut the pipes,” Pascone said.

In hopes to eliminate these crimes, Tuesday night, Denison City Council passed an ordinance regarding catalytic converters.

Chief Gudgel said, “the ordinance states, if you’re in possession of a catalytic converter that has been cut and/or removed, unbolted from a vehicle without any kind of documentation then you’d be in violation.”

And if you violate this ordinance, “it will be a finable offense up to $500 and could led to some jail time depending on the circumstances surrounding the possession,” Chief Gudgel said.

While lifted vehicles are easy targets, there are some precautions you can take from getting hit, “making sure you park in well lit areas, some that have a little bit more foot traffic, secured parking like a gated community, a garage,” said Pascone.

If you’re unable to get under your car to see if it’s still intact, “they’ll be like a loud roaring noise, especially if you accelerate or your check engine light will come on,” Pascone said.