Catalytic converter thefts on the rise

Catalytic converter thefts on the rise
Posted on 02/15/2021

The Lenexa Police Department has seen a dramatic increase in thefts of catalytic converters around Lenexa. This is primarily occurring at businesses that have a fleet of vehicles that are parked on-site overnight. While most any type of vehicle is at risk, lately we are seeing thieves targeting work vans, trucks and larger utility-style work vehicles.

Stealing a catalytic converter only takes a few seconds, but can be expensive to replace and costs businesses valuable time while their fleet vehicles are out of service. Here are few tips to help combat this crime.

  • Park fleet vehicles in a well-lit area of the property. If possible, park inside a garage or gated area.
  • Install exterior camera systems and have them point to the property entrances, exits and the areas where fleet vehicles are parked overnight. Learn more about our Community Video Partnership.
  • If you have an existing camera system, be sure that it is functional.
  • Avoid parking multiple vehicles together side by side. Instead, space them out with at least one parking stall between each. This reduces the hiding areas for thieves between vehicles and increases their effort in moving from vehicle to vehicle.
  • Use heat-resistant spray paint and stencils to create identifiers specific to your company on your catalytic converters. This could include company name, initials, last four digits of the vehicles VIN or some other unique marking. This marking could serve as a deterrent to potential thieves, or in the event the catalytic converter is stolen, can help identify it as such to scrap yards or other law enforcement. Check with your local mechanic or muffler shop, as many provide this catalytic converter etching service.
  • Check auto parts stores and online retailers for after-market catalytic converter theft deterrent products such as alarms, cages or other locking mechanisms.
  • Report thefts or attempted thefts as soon as possible to the Lenexa Police Department. Our non-emergency number is 913.477.7301.

Vehicles that have had their catalytic converter stolen will be extremely loud when started, and the noise will grow louder when pressing the gas pedal. Evidence left behind by thieves could include saw blades, gloves, flashlights and even discarded cigarette butts underneath or around your fleet vehicles.

Updated July 19, 2021