Potter County Sheriff’s Office seeing rise in catalytic converter thefts

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Potter County Sheriff’s Office said they have seen an uptick in thefts of a certain car part.

“I would much rather us go out there and it be absolutely nothing than you have to call me the next morning because your car won’t start or it’s running funny because somebody cut something off your car,” said Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas.

That something that Sheriff Thomas is referring to is catalytic converters.

Which the Potter County Sheriff’s Office said they have seen a rise in thefts of recently.

“Six over the last month. You go, you know that’s not a whole lot but it is a lot because it’s not like it’s a stolen car. Somebody is crawling underneath a car to steal a catalytic converter. I mean how weird is that,” said Sheriff Thomas.

Robert Morton, Panhandle Eurotech Automotive Owner said the catalytic converter is a honeycomb-shaped mixture of metals located in the exhaust.

“It’s designed to get hot and what that does is the metals inside the catalytic converter react with the hydrocarbons coming out of the engine that have been unburned. It basically burns off what’s left over so all you have coming out of your tailpipe is oxygen and carbon dioxide,” said Morton.

Morton said it is not terribly tough and does not take long for people to steal them either.

“Probably about five minutes total. They just use a Sawzall and get in there and hack them out real fast,” said Morton.

Sheriff Thomas said this could be happening because of the value of the metal inside the converter.

“Problem is I don’t know where they’re getting rid of them because we really don’t have really a place in Amarillo. There’s only one place where you legally sell that and they document all that kind of stuff. So if they’re taking them, they’re taking them out of town or something of that nature. If you hear something or see something, go out there and look, call us because we would much rather come out there on nothing than to come out later and find something is stolen or whatever,” said Sheriff Thomas.

Morton said that since it is not always obvious that catalytic converter is missing, there will be a tell-tale sign.

Once you start your engine up, your car will be much louder, sounding more like a racecar.

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