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Valparaiso Vehicles Damaged by Theft

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February 28th — Valparaiso Police say catalytic converters were stolen from 12 vehicles in the early morning hours of February 27th. The thefts all took place while the vehicles were parked in large apartment complex lots on the city’s north and south sides. Police believe the part is being cut off of the vehicles with a power tool, and they suspect that more than one individual is involved. They believe the thieves are parking their own vehicle close to the targeted vehicle while the converter is removed.

Police are asking anyone who observes suspicious activity near a parked vehicle to report that activity immediately by calling police or texting information to TIP411 (847-411) and entering “Valpo” in the subject line.

The catalytic converter helps control a vehicle’s emissions by using precious metals to convert carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons into less harmful emissions. Due to recent increases in the price of precious metals, and the external location of the part, catalytic converters have become an increasingly popular target for thieves who often sell the part at scrap yards for cash. To deter theft, many communities now require scrap yards to keep a written record of the driver’s license of anyone who turns in a catalytic converter.

According to Valparaiso Police, the estimated loss in each case is approximately $450.

By: Sarah Holst

 

 

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