After an uptick over the last several months, the theft of catalytic converters in the city has slowed down, according to Rome Police Department Assistant Chief Debbie Burnett.
Since early October, catalytic converters have come up missing from vehicles in the area, especially from larger vehicles.
“It’s common because it’s easier to get under and out quicker,” Burnett said.
Thieves extract the palladium, rhodium and platinum from the catalytic converters, which are used to filter and clean up auto emissions. Because they contain those metals, catalytic converters can be worth hundreds of dollars when sold to scrap dealers and recyclers.
In Georgia, scrap yards are legally required to report any suspicious items they receive. But that’s not always where the stolen parts turn up.
States around the country — including Alabama, Florida and Tennessee — have reported the thefts of the part from larger vehicles.
In October, a Rome business owner, Earl Lamar Renfroe Jr., was arrested and charged with felony theft by receiving stolen property along with another man, Adam Dempsey, for stealing the converters from vehicles.
The two men are accused of targeting vehicles within 100 miles of Rome and area suspected of thefts in Carroll County and Alabama.
Anyone with information regarding catalytic converter thefts within the city limits can call 706-238-5111, send in videos, or leave anonymous tips on RomeFloyd.com.