Central Ohio Police Seeing Increase In Catalytic Converter Thefts

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UPDATED: Monday April 8, 2013 6:32 PM

Police in several central Ohio communities are investigating thefts of catalytic converters.

Police say the thieves are likely selling the car parts to scrap yards for quick cash.

Jerry Burden can’t drive his car now because it's up on jack stands as he waits to replace his catalytic converter.  

The Sunbury resident didn’t know his had been stolen until Friday.

“When I started my car up Friday afternoon, it sounded like a jet engine roar,” Burden said.

Burden said someone cut the catalytic converter out of his car late last week while it was parked outside of his Sunbury apartment.  

The thieves swiped the same car part from another car parked just a few spots down.

In Dublin, the police chief said his department has received six reports of catalytic converter thefts in the last two weeks. Chief Heinz von Eckartsberg said that’s an uptick.

The chief said he’s unaware of one specific reason for the recent spike.

“It's hard to say. There are probably a lot of different reasons, but it is unusual for us to have that many in a two-week period,” he said.

According to police reports, the incidents happened on South Metro Place and Upper Metro Place. Another incident was reported on Rings Road.

On the other side of town, Blendon Township police said thieves swiped 11 catalytic converters from rental trucks at a U-Haul store on Morse Road.

Chief von Eckartsburg said those with sport utility vehicles are targeted more because it's easier to remove the catalytic converter.

His best advice is to park your car in the front of a lot, near other cars or close to a light.

It is advice Jerry Burden said he'll take.

“It will be a little longer walk to my apartment with groceries but it may be worth it,” added Burden.

Last year, Columbus expanded its "do not buy list,” a list of people convicted of theft around central Ohio, that scrap yards and pawn shops were prohibited from purchasing from.

If a scrap yard is found to have purchased from someone on the list - it can be fined or possibly lose its license.

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