Thieves in NJ are targeting your car’s catalytic converter
Cops in Vineland are asking you to keep an eye out for any suspicious people as they investigate a string of catalytic converter thefts.
The Vineland Police Department says the first theft happened on Monday morning, April 26, on the 1500 block of South Delsea Drive. In this case, authorities say a catalytic convertor was taken from a parked vehicle. The estimated damage to that vehicle was $800.
A week later on Monday, May 3, police say, "an unknown suspect(s) cut and removed three catalytic converters from vehicles parked in the parking lot" of a car dealership, which is also in the 1500 block of Delsea Drive. The suspects caused about $1,800 in damage.
Also on Monday, police say someone cut and removed two catalytic converters from vehicles parked at 3322 College Drive causing an estimated $1,200 in damage.
According to Allstate, thieves target catalytic converters because they contain precious metals that can easily be sold at scrap yards for cash. An experienced thief can remove one from a car in 60 seconds.
Motortrend points out that vehicles like a Toyota Prius are big targets for criminals because those care are very efficient and those catalytic converters are not very dirty, which increases the amount of money that a thief can get. Big pick-up trucks are also targets simply because they sit high off of the ground, so it's easy to crawl under them.
Officials did not indicate whether or not they believe the three cases were committed by the same person(s); the investigations continue. If you have any information, you are urged to contact the Vineland Police Department's CrimeStoppers hotline at (856) 691-0345.