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CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Thieves steal catalytic converters from Springfield auto shop

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 11:43 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2021 at 2:41 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Police are investigating the theft of catalytic converters at a Springfield auto shop.

The thieves hit Rick’s Automotive near Campbell and Sunshine on Sunday, October 24. Staff caught two men stealing four catalytic converters from cars on a security camera. The two men also tried to steal a car from the outside lot.

Staff says not just them, but many auto parts and repair shops have had problems with thieves. General Manager Tim Fess says it’s hard to combat when it can be done easily.

“What we’ve been experiencing recently is a lot of catalytic converter thefts as well as vehicle vandalism whether it’s going through the glove box for the personal belongings, maybe in the center console,” said Fess. “They are stealing the catalytic converters for scrap value and it takes only a few minutes to remove them.”

Fess also said they use social media to help find and catch the thieves.

“We’ve been using social media to essentially get a group of people together to help solve this problem,” said Fess. “It is an epidemic in the country, much less Springfield, Missouri, if anyone wants to read any kind of news article about it, it is just epic proportions.”

Staff from Rick’s Automotive said one man was on a bike. He sawed off the catalytic converters. The other person walked to a car and tried to steal it.

Staff at Rick’s Automotive said converters can be expensive

“Some vehicles may be upwards of $2,000-plus,” said Fess.

Fess said he has seen some cases where thieves are getting bolder in taking parts, but it is key to keep your car safe when you can.

“Any area is subject to it,” said Fess. “Usually the daylight will keep them away because of the foot traffic. But use every precaution you can. Park in a well-lit, secured area as best you can.”

When asked about recent catalytic converter thefts, Springfield Police Department officials said they are currently working on a multi-agency investigation into the ongoing issue.

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