RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Vehicle owners are becoming more and more frustrated with the surging amount of car-related thefts in Richmond. Imagine waking up, starting your car and it now sounds like a lawnmower. This is exactly what one local woman experienced after she became yet another victim of catalytic converter theft.

Sheila Fox cranked up her 2004 Honda Element and noticed it sounded louder than usual.

“It’s like the loudest motorcycle you’ve ever heard,” Fox said. 

That’s because two nights ago someone stole her car’s catalytic converter while she was sleeping.

“I got out and looked under the car and saw the remains of what was left of the catalytic converter,” Fox said. 

As you can imagine Fox was upset, as not only was her car louder than normal, but she was also left with the repair bill.

“Irritated because now the onus is on me to deal with the problem,” she said. 

Sheila Fox, Richmond resident becomes yet another victim of catalytic converter theft. (8News)

A problem that Euro Tune Auto Service Manager, Khalid Fowler, said could be solved, if buyers stopped purchasing them. 

“Catalytic converters are filled with precious metals such as platinum,” Fowler said. “So they just cut those off and bring those over to the recyclers and they’re paid money.”

Fox still has hopes something can be done about this. 

“Something needs to happen so the people that steal these, to sell them, can no longer do that,” she said. 

The Richmond Police Department gave a couple of tips to help lessen the chances of the car crime happening to you:

  • Park in well-lit areas or make sure your car is under some sort of streetlight where you can see your car and others.
  • Consider getting cameras installed on your home doors so you can see if anyone is bothering your car.