Catalytic Converter Thefts Increasing In Wichita

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blue Sky Satellite Services became the latest victim in the catalytic converter thefts around the Wichita area.

The theft is going to cost the business about $3,000 to replace.

"As a small business owner in this economy, a type of hit like that is just something you can't plan for in your budget," said Ray Ziegler, director of operations.

Surveillance videos showed two thieves entering the parking lot around midnight on Monday. The thieves got underneath five vans and sawed off the catalytic converters.

"They came across our parking lot, tried to open up a couple of our vans and luckily it was all locked and secured. They knew what they were after," said Ziegler.

The thieves were looking for the precious metals inside the converters, which are part of the muffler system. Wichita Police said this is a type of theft that is happening six to ten times a week.

"They can get anywhere from $10 to $100 on a converter. It would cost the car owner anywhere from $800 to over $2,000 to replace the converter itself," said Lt. Mike Hennessy, Wichita Police Larceny section.

Thieves are targeting people that own service vehicles or vehicles that are part of a fleet.

"Particularly SUV-type, van-type vehicles because it's easy for the thieves to get under it," said Hennessy.

Call police if you see anyone suspicious underneath vehicles.

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