In late December, a community member was walking past an apartment parking garage in the middle of the night and heard the sound of a power tool. Instead of just ignoring it and walking on, they took a moment to call 9-1-1 and pass on the information. Officers quickly responded and caught a young man in the act of sawing a catalytic converter off a car.
The reason I tell this story is to remind people that if you see or hear something, say something. You know your neighborhood better than us and are more likely to see something that appears out of place. A strange car, the lights being on or off at a neighbor’s house or hearing unusual noises can all be nothing … or a sign of something amiss.
Your police officers are working very hard to keep your community safe and they greatly appreciate your equal care in your community, including reporting suspicious circumstances. These calls help direct your officers to “hot spots” and greatly increase their effectiveness and efficiency. As your police department, we would rather check on your suspicions and have it be nothing than have someone tell us they saw something but didn’t report it while we are investigating the crime after it occurs. 53,000 sets of eyes looking out for our community is better than six.
Tips for keeping your car safe from catalytic converter thieves
- A catalytic converter is a small metal part of the exhaust system on your car. It contains expensive metals which attracts thieves.
- Park your vehicle inside a garage or in a well-lit area.
- Install a catalytic converter protection device.
- Work with neighbors to establish or maintain a Neighborhood Block Watch group.
- Report all suspicious or criminal activity by calling 9-1-1 immediately.
- Install motion sensing lights in your driveway.
- Etch your car’s VIN number or license plate number on the converter to make it easier to identify a ring of thieves in the future.