On Your Side: Crook steals catalytic converter in Springfield-Branson National Airport parking lot

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 6:19 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 30, 2021 at 6:20 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Crooks are brazen when it comes to stealing catalytic converters. The latest targeted area has security and its own police force. The crook still did the crime.

“It was deafening. I like rock and roll music played loud. I felt like I was in the Indianapolis 500 when I cranked it up,” said Ed Huff.

Huff’s Ford Excursion was not how he left it at the Springfield-Branson National Airport.

“You’re paying as a consumer to leave your vehicle in what you think is a secure parking lot with security, and then you come home and your catalytic converter is stolen. I wouldn’t want this for anyone,” he said.

He paid nearly $30 to park in long-term parking. Then there’s an $1,800 repair bill.

“Who has $1,800 laying around for a car repair? That you didn’t do,” he said.

The theft is popular because value of the various metals in a converter. Right now, airport workers tell On Your Side that Huff is the only recent report.

“That doesn’t mean there couldn’t be more cars out there, but keep in mind not all owners return at once. We might find out in a week or two we had a cluster of thefts,” said Kent Boyd with the Springfield-Branson National Airport.

Airport workers say the camera closest to Huff’s vehicle didn’t pick up the crime.

“A lot of people think if they park in an airport parking lot their car must be very secure. That’s really not the reality. At airports across the country, since 9/11, the security emphases has been on aircrafts and passengers. That’s our primary focus,” said Boyd.

Why the fee?

“There’s a fee for parking which helps run the airport. You are not paying for absolute security. It’s like any other parking lot in town,” said Boyd.

How can you become less of a target?

Always park your car in a visible place.

If sounds like a pain, but mark your converter with your vehicle’s VIN.

If yours is stolen, report to police even if you have little information. Typically criminals hit a few locations, you could help solve the case.

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