There has recently been a rise in the price of certain precious metals. This has caused the increase of reported copper and catalytic converter thefts across the state of Georgia and the United States.
Thieves target catalytic converters that are attached to the underside of a vehicle as part of the exhaust system because they contain valuable metals such as platinum, palladium, or rhodium. The thieves sell these metals for hundreds or thousands of dollars. Thieves typically use a saw or grinder to remove the converter and can have one removed in as little as one minute. Larger vehicles are targeted because of the ease of access to the underside of the vehicle. Vehicles parked in dark locations for multiple days are prime targets. Other areas of concern are car lots, large parking lots, rideshare lots, and any other areas a large number of vehicles park for extended periods of time. If you are driving, or out in the community after business hours, and hear what sounds like metal being cut in a parking lot area, please call your local law enforcement agency in order to try and apprehend these thieves.
The price of copper is also on the rise. If you have vacant homes, or businesses in your area, please pay attention to who comes in and out of these places. Notify local law enforcement if you see someone removing copper wire or tubing from these vacant places. If you own some of these vacant places try painting your copper black as it will appear to be just black tubing instead of copper. Have an alarm system or security cameras installed for the property.
As always if you are out in the community and see something that you believe is suspicious please notify your local law enforcement agency to report it. If you can safely photograph the suspicious activity or a vehicle tag and provide that information to law enforcement it would assist in the investigation of that incident. See something, Say Something!