Catalytic converter theft increases across Marquette County

Rising prices for metals within the converters have led to an increase in them being stolen.
Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 5:46 PM EDT
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ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) - Catalytic converters on the underside of vehicles help to reduce gas emissions. However, rising prices for metals within the converters have led to an increase in them being stolen.

“The precious metals are what they take out of them. We’ve seen a big increase around here involving vehicles with the catalytic converters being cut off vehicles,” said Ishpeming Police Detective Chad Radabaugh.

Radabaugh said Ishpeming Police have received nearly 20 complaints and reports of the converters being sawed or torched off.

“Businesses are being targeted. We’ve actually had a couple churches which have reported their vehicles have had the catalytic converters cut off, we have the junk yards, auto dealerships, and the repair shops have also reported these being taken off at night,” he said.

Negaunee Fox Motors Service Manager Mark Miller said you’ll know if your converter was stolen as soon as you turn your vehicle on.

“It’s going to be extremely loud when you start your engine. You’re going to have a terrible exhaust leak, your check engine light is going to be on, and it’s not going to run properly,” said Miller.

As a result, the interior of your car could also catch on fire.

The cost for a replacement? Upwards of $1,000.

Detective Radabaugh said the best way to prevent your car from becoming a target is to park in a well-lit area, purchase an alarm or caging to go over the converter, and park in front of a wall or fence if possible.

If you have any information on stolen catalytic converter, contact local law enforcement.

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