Two more catalytic converters stolen

BROOKINGS – Two catalytic converters were stolen recently in separate incidents, and Brookings Police are warning the public to park inside or in well-lit areas with video surveillance to cut down on the possibility of theft.

One catalytic converter was reported stolen at 11:43 a.m. Tuesday in the 1200 block of 22nd Avenue South, Lt. Marci Gebers said.

“It was determined that the catalytic converter had been cut off a company vehicle. It was a 2017 white Ford F350,” she said.

“The reporting party had actually noticed this on Friday, Feb. 12, after he had started the vehicle and it was running really loud. It appeared as though the catalytic converter had been sawed off, which is what we have seen with past catalytic converter thefts, as well,” Gebers said.

There was no damage estimate available, she said.

“The investigation is still ongoing at this point, but we have identified a suspect,” Gebers said. “We are still waiting on some video surveillance from the area.”

The other incident was reported at 8:39 a.m. Feb. 11 and occurred in the 500 block of Sunrise Ridge Road.

“Same situation with this one where the catalytic converter had been sawed off of the vehicle, and this vehicle was a 2015 Toyota Tundra,” Gebers said.

Over the past several months, Brookings Police have investigated numerous thefts of catalytic converters, many taking place in business or industrial areas, Gebers noted.

“That’s something that I’ve seen with other reports of catalytic converters, as well, in different jurisdictions, where they target these areas where there’s vehicles left overnight,” she said.

“With this one, we were able to determine a suspect and the investigation is ongoing on that one,” Gebers said. “This one, we were able to collect some additional evidence from the scene there and, if need be, that will be submitted for forensic testing.”

There was no estimate of damages available, she added.

“Business owners and people that have vehicles out in those industrial areas, it would be a good idea to get your vehicles parked inside, if possible, or in a well-lit area or somewhere where video cameras would cover, because it seems to be the areas that they’re targeting is the industrial areas that aren’t heavily populated,” Gebers said.