Number of catalytic converter thefts in Fresno is 10 times higher this year than in 2020

KSEE24 News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Fresno is seeing a rise in catalytic converter thefts, with 10 times as many this year than last year, according to police.

“The catalytic converters are being stolen on a daily basis…dozens at a time,” said Heath Huwe, the manager of a Midas automotive shop in Clovis.

Huwe says at least 5-6 people come into his store every day looking to get their license plate number engraved on their catalytic converters. It’s part of a program Midas created over the summer to help combat the rise in thefts.

“In 2020, we had 210 reported catalytic converter thefts. As of two weeks ago, we have had about 1,225 thefts in 2021,” said Diana Vega from the Fresno Police Department.

Catalytic converters are stolen for the rare metals inside and often sold to recycling centers for profit.

It can cost 1,000-2,000 dollars or more to replace – a heavy hit to businesses or families that rely on them.

“Many people might be prevented from going to work and continuing their daily activities,” Vega said.

That’s why police are suggesting owners of catalytic converters go to Midas, where they can get their license plate number engraved on their converter, making it traceable for police.

“If that catalytic converter was found later on, detectives would be able to connect that catalytic converter to the victim,” Vega said.

Some other tips to prevent catalytic converter theft:

  • Buy a shield, which Midas will install for free
  • Park inside a garage when you can, places with sufficient lighting and, if possible, somewhere with cameras

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