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Catalytic converter thefts increasing in the area

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

MOUND CITY – Catalytic converters have become an increasing target for theft in the Linn County area, according to the Linn County Sheriff's Office.

In a release on Friday, June 25, the sheriff's office said that because the price of precious metals such as palladium and rhodium has increased, thefts in the area have increased. The catalytic converters are a part of the exhaust system under the car and serve to reduce pollution emissions.

In many cases it can take a thief with a battery-powered reciprocating saw about two minutes to remove a catalytic converter. Fortunately, some automobile manufacturers have recently taken steps to make removal more difficult.

Still, it can cost an average of $1,500 to $2,000 to replace a stolen catalytic converter, and that can be more than five times the amount the thieves make on selling them.

The sheriff's office offers a few tips to keep your catalytic converter safe:

  • Park in a garage or in a well-lit area to discourage thieves.

  • Mark your catalytic converter with a personal identification, such as your vehicle's VIN number, using a UV pen. Because the mark can only be read using ultraviolet light, thieves don't know that it's marked. However, law enforcement officials can use that to trace a stolen catalytic converter back to you.

  • Report thefts immediately. The sooner you file a report with law enforcement, the more likely officers can link it to your vehicle.

  • Share video with law enforcement. If you have captured the theft on video, it can help officers identify suspects.

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