Nevadans battling theft of catalytic converters | criminality
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) – The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department just released new figures on catalytic converter thefts through January 1.
The department received 1,283 reports of thefts.
Thieves steal catalytic converters for precious metals inside that can be worth much more than gold. Repairs can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
As a special task force of law enforcement in the region continues to crack down and make arrests, some companies are showing FOX5 certain devices that drivers use to prevent thieves from stealing converters.
“It just became a crazy trend,” said Alexei Guinitaran, owner and director of Zenith Auto Care.
Guinitaran sells and installs metal plates that cover catalytic converters so thieves cannot cut them up. He said just seeing a device can be enough to deter a thief from stealing a catalytic converter.
“If they see that big plate under there, they’re just going to move on to the next one because they want to get in and out in minutes. They don’t want to cut a big plate of metal, making a lot of noise. They are trying to do it secretly and quickly, ”Guinitaran said.
Guinitaran said he has sold around 50 plates so far. They are customized for several car models, including the Toyota Prius, which Guinitaran says is popular with thieves because they have two catalytic converters.
“Among those we put, I never had a car returned, theirs was stolen,” he said.
Guinitaran also showed metal enclosures and a cable kit that people can install around their converters as well.
“A real high voltage cable that you can’t cut,” he said.
Sansone Automobile recently hosted an engraving event with Henderson Police. Workshop workers etched wine numbers into catalytic converters and converters painted with heat-resistant red paint. Police say the measures will make it easier to link a theft to a suspect and prosecute if those converters are found with a suspect.
“So it kind of scares them (thieves) when they see it. That we are yours. So they’ll go to the next car, unfortunately, ”Sansone co-owner Mac Logue said.
Drivers with full insurance will usually be covered in the event of theft, but many will need to pay a deductible.