CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH) — More catalytic converters are being stolen across the state from Cheshire to East Haven.
It is something that has been escalating along with the price of precious metals.
Cheshire Police said catalytic converters were taken from vehicles in a parking lot at Cheshire High School, located 525 South Main St., Chapman Elementary School, located at 38 Country Club Rd., along with two commercial parking lots located at 967 and 1151 South Main St.
All of the thefts took place during daylight hours, police said.
“The Cheshire Police Department would like to remind everyone that if they see something suspicious, call the local Police Department to report it,” Cheshire Police said in a statement. “Through the vigilance of all, these perpetrators can be brought to justice.”
Anyone with information about the incidents in Cheshire is asked to contact Detective Sam DeCapua and Officer Lester Zimnoch at (203) 271-5531 or email@example.com.
In East Haven, Michelle Davis caught the theft on camera, with thieves breaking into her car and jamming the shifter so they could push it out into the street, jack it up and steal the catalytic converter.
“My daughter came running to get me, she’s like ‘the car is in the middle of the street,'” Davis said. “My children are all asleep right here near where it happened. It’s the scariest thing ever.”
For Davis, her car was already in an accident and now she said it is scrap metal.
“With it already being crashed and then cutting the cat off it, it made it kind of pointless to fix at this point,” Davis said.
One of the reasons it is so costly and varies from car to car to replace the catalytic converter is because when the thieves come in, they rip it out, cutting it right out from underneath the car. They do a lot of damage to other things underneath the car, which also have to be replaced, and that adds to the bill.
At Turnpike Motors Auto Body on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington, they said it can take weeks to months for commercial vehicles to replace the catalytic converter. Now, you can buy antitheft devices for your catalytic converter that range from shields to cable wraps to deter thieves.
“If you have three or four commercial vehicles parked up in your lot and they’ve hit it once, they’re probably going to come back and hit it again in three or four months because they know it will be there and fixed, so it might make sense to look into that technology,” Doug Fernandez of Turnpike Motors Auto Body said.
You can find antitheft devices for your catalytic converter online or at your local auto parts store. If you have theft insurance, it may be covered.