Local police have responded to a flurry of incidents recently where thieves stole catalytic converters out of motorists' cars.
Tucker Patch reported the following Monday:
Last Wednesday, thieves came to the parking lot at Northlake Mall wanting a very specific car part: the catalytic converter. And they had almost no trouble getting it.
Jen Burkhart told Tucker Patch that she and her 10-year-old son came outside after shopping mid-afternoon to find a security guard standing next to her Toyota 4Runner. "I thought, hmm, did I park in a handicap spot? He asked if the car was mine and I said yes," Burkhart said. "He told me someone stole my catalytic converter!"
The next day, the North Briarcliff Civic Association emailed a link to that story out to its members and also noted:
Coincidentally this type of theft was reported by neighbors in the Laurel Ridge area, opp. the mall. Thieves sell the platinum. It takes very little time to remove the part apparently. SUVs and trucks are good targets because they sit high off the ground and the part is more easily accessible.
Decatur-Avondale Estates Patch also reported the following on Monday about an incident in Decatur:
The first theft occurred Dec. 28 in the the 200 block of Madison Avenue when a man left his 2009 Honda CRV parked for two days. The second theft happened in the parking lot of First Baptist Church. A woman parked her 2008 Honda Element Dec. 26 and noticed a noise when she drove home. A mechanic discovered the part had been sawed off.
I'm not sure of the best way to avoid something like this. But it's something to keep in mind when you're shopping. Perhaps it's best not to spend hours inside a place, particularly a mall, for instance. Although based on the number of reported crimes compared to the total number of people shopping in these locations, the likelihood of this happening to any given shopper is probably slim. Unless things get worse, of course.