Thefts of catalytic converters from vehicles probed in Clinton Co. as well as across US

By John Hamilton -

CLINTON COUNTY — Clinton County Sheriff’s deputies received multiple reports of catalytic converters stolen in January from businesses as well at the County Maintenance Department on South South Street.

A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from the internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants.

Lt. Mike Kassinos of the Sheriff’s Office told the News Journal that, while they can’t yet provide details of the ongoing investigations, they’re hoping to have some results soon.

Thefts of catalytic converters have also been reported to police in 2021 in the City of Wilmington.

Converters are targeted in thefts due to the use of valuable metals like platinum, palladium and rhodium. Replacing a converter on a vehicle can cost more than $1,000.

Drivers may recognize when their converter has been stolen; when the vehicle is started, it may make a loud roaring sound that gets louder when pushing the gas pedal.

Converter thefts are not just taking place in Clinton County, but also across the country.

A Feb. 9 New York Times article referenced cities where multiple converter thefts were reported, including Wichita, Kansas where thefts “almost tripled in 2020 compared to the previous year, 547 cases to 191.”

The Associated Press shared a story about a 50-year-old man from Manchester, New Hampshire who is suspected of having stolen 29 catalytic converters and selling them to a local scrapyard.

Kassinos told the News Journal there’s not much anyone can do in regards to taking precautions.

“If you find your converter stolen, contact us right away and we’ll take a report,” said Kassinos. “We’re actively investigating, and whatever information people have helps the investigation.”

Kassinos also advises people to contact their insurance providers if the converter was stolen.

If anyone has any information regarding these investigations, contact the Sheriff’s Office at 937-382-1611

By John Hamilton

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574