CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Police in Richmond and Henrico County are warning drivers to be aware of where they park their cars at night. Catalytic converter theft is on the rise in RVA.
Jonah Dosher, general manager of VA Cars, said for most vehicles, having this part stolen is bad news. “A passenger car will actually die and it’s immovable at that point,” he said.
In Henrico County, more than 100 catalytic converters have been stolen so far this year, prompting the police department to push out a public service announcement.
The City of Richmond is experiencing a similar problem, according to police.
Dosher told 8News thieves go for catalytic converters because they are valuable. “Money is the motivator here. Catalytic converters have precious metals in them like platinum and palladium,” said Dosher.
He said they can be resold for up to $250 and in some cases, even more.
“Depending what they’re doing with them, some of the converters, if you buy them after they’re stolen, can go for $1,000 to $2,000,” Dosher explained.
Henrico Police said thieves will crawl underneath a vehicle and saw or cut the part out. In the public service announcement, police say if you hear the sound of an electric saw or see someone underneath of your car, call police.
Dosher said thieves typically go for large vehicles in dark areas.
“They’re not going to crawl underneath a sports car or a small car, but a truck or an SUV is a good target because they can get under them easily and hide, so park in a bright lit area and shouldn’t have any problems,” he said.
Henrico Police also said that if you start your car and the exhaust makes a loud noise, turn the car off and call police. There may be valuable evidence left that can be collected.