Springfield auto repair shops running low on catalytic converters as thefts continue

SPRINGFIELD,Mo. (KY3) -- Catalytic Converter thefts are still on the rise, creating a higher demand for replacements here in Springfield.

"Everybody in town is buying them, so it's hard to find them in stock right now," said Rick's Automotive service adviser Micah Blake.

Catalytic converter thefts keep happening in Springfield. Thieves have hit many businesses including Habitat for Humanity, the Salvation Army and most recently eighty of Fisk Limousine's shuttle buses used by Missouri State.

"It kind of goes in waves," he said. "You'll notice one night that they'll hit the South side of town. Cox hospital got hit with some of their shuttle buses and some of their employee cars and then Fisk Limousines got hit."

Blake said thieves are likely to target vehicles that sit higher up like vans, buses and trucks.

"The accessibility [and] the ease of doing that, that's probably why they had eight stolen in one night," Blake said.

If you want to protect your car there are metal plates and cages that can be installed around your catalytic converter, making it tougher for thieves to get to it.

"I've had a few people ask for that," he said. "It's not something that an auto parts store is going to carry. Somebody local will probably have to place an order and have it shipped to us."

Blake said the added protection could also cause problems for future repairs.

"If you have a problem with the catalytic converter down the road, though and it needed to be replaced, that might cost extra money to remove whatever extra item is in the way," he said.

Blake also said because the demand for a replacement is so high right now, it could take up to a week for some catalytic converters to get shipped in and installed into your car.