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Catalytic converters are being snatched off cars in Cedar Rapids

Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 6:33 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Cedar Rapids Police said thefts of catalytic converters are happening in all quadrants of the city.

They’ve had around 30 reports of stolen catalytic converters since November. Zoe Canfield, who lives on the northeast side of the city, said she was asleep in her home when the theft of the auto part occurred.

“People walked right up my driveway, right up to my Prius, and stole the catalytic converter right off the, underneath of it,” Canfield said.

Canfield’s car was just feet away from her home, her sister was awake to see the whole thing.

“She woke us up so yeah, they were gone already and there was nothing else we could do about it,” Canfield said.

It’s a theme that’s been occupying mechanics at Denny’s Muffler Center, in Marion, since November.

“I mean here, we’ve seen a couple dozen I would say,” Zach Willson, manager of the shop, said.

Willson said for thieves, it’s most likely about the money.

“They have precious metals in them so their worth money scrap which is usually 100 bucks, plus,” Willson said.

Willson said if your catalytic converter gets taken you will know as soon as you try to drive.

“As soon as I turned the car on, it was making this loud like groggy noise, like you could probably hear it around the block,” Canfield said.

It’s frustrating for car owners like Canfield who have to pay for the fix.

“It could be anywhere from a few hundred bucks up to a couple thousand depending on the vehicle. So, average is probably $700-$800,” Willson said.

Not all attempted thefts in the area have gone as planned, but even a job half-done requires an expensive replacement. Willson said they’ve seen instances where the catalytic converter is only half cut off.

“Not always successful, sometimes they must get interrupted I would guess,” Willson said.

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