Troopers arrest three subjects on shoplifting and other charges following pursuit – Delaware State Police

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The Delaware State Police recently noticed an increase in catalytic converter thefts statewide. Most of these thefts involve different types of vehicles. Thefts typically occur when vehicles are parked in large public parking lots, including retail outlets, healthcare facilities and business parks. Catalytic converters can be removed in less than a minute, so any time of day or night is a golden opportunity for these crimes to happen.

Catalytic converters contain platinum, rhodium and palladium. Metals are expensive and thieves sell the converters to salvage yards. Installing and replacing a catalytic converter can cost you up to $3,000. Driving your car without one is illegal, and the resulting gap in your exhaust system causes the car to run poorly. Thieves focus on soft targets for catalytic converter thefts, and a few simple steps will help make your vehicle a less likely target.

If your catalytic converter is missing, you will notice a loud rumble or roar as soon as you turn on the engine. The sound will get louder as you accelerate. Since the exhaust is not working properly, the vehicle will run rougher than usual, often with a crackling feeling when you shift gears. Go to the back of the car and look underneath. The catalytic converter is a round canister that connects two pieces of piping in the exhaust. You’ll see a gap in the middle of your exhaust if the converter is missing, and you’ll likely see signs that the piping has been cut.

Park in well-lit areas when possible. If you have a personal garage, keep your car in the garage with the door closed when the vehicle is not in use. When parking in a public parking lot, park near the entrance of a building or the nearest driveway. There is an increase in foot traffic in these areas.

Install a catalytic converter lock. These devices can provide some level of security against theft. You can also have the converter welded to the frame of the car, which makes it more difficult to remove. If your car has a security system, make sure the sensitivity is high. This ensures that the alarm will activate if a thief tries to cut off your converter.

Installing a video surveillance system or motion detector around your garage or driveway is also helpful. Engrave your VIN on your catalytic converter for easy identification in the event of theft.

Although prevention is not complete protection, it can cause a thief to reconsider the possibility of committing a crime. If prevention fails, the next best method of combating criminal activity is to rely on bystanders to quickly report crimes and provide as many investigative leads as possible. Soldiers are asking community members to be aware of their surroundings when walking in public parking lots. Be a good looker and call 911 if you see or hear anything suspicious. Information regarding catalytic converter thefts can also be provided by contacting Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333.

If you or someone you know is a victim or witness to a crime or has lost a loved one to sudden death and needs help, the Police Victim Services Unit State of Delaware / Delaware Victim Support Center is available to provide you with 24-hour support and resources through a toll-free helpline at 1-800-VICTIM-1 (1-800-842-8461). You can also email the Victim Services Unit at [email protected].

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