Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk says his agency has been seeing a rise in the theft of catalytic converters from area vehicles and offers a few tips to the public to avoid such incidents.
“Cases are on the rise again in the region,” Sisk said.
In late November, the Sheriff’s Office responded to an incident in the 5300 block of Battlefield Parkway that involved the theft of six catalytic converters from U-haul trucks on the property, reports show.
Employees told deputies that someone slid under six different trucks and cut off the catalytic converters.
It was determined that the offender(s) most likely committed the theft during the evening of Nov. 20 or the early morning hours of Nov. 21.
According to police, thieves covet the converters because they contain precious metals that are valuable in the scrap metal world.
The converters taken during the Battlefield Parkway incident have an approximate value of $9,000, reports show.
While similar cases happen from time to time, Sisk said, the rise in such activity in the region is cause for concern, and that the public should take proper precautions if able.
“Our advice is to try not to leave vehicles unchecked and unattended for any length of time,” Sisk said. “Don’t leave vehicles in places like church parking lots all week, or at day care all weekend. Try and park in well-lighted areas with security cameras or traffic flow on the lot.”