Catalytic Converters

Wallingford Sees Increase in Catalytic Converter Thefts

NBC Universal, Inc.

Wallingford’s North Plains Industrial Road is filled with traffic and businesses. And this year, it’s become a prime target for thieves.

“We get businesses on the street getting hit every single day. We, our own business, has been hit a couple of times now,” said Plaza Service Center manager Nick Clark.

Clark said stealing a catalytic converter from a car can take under 30 seconds but can cost thousands of dollars to fix. And due to supply issues, it can take days or months to get the needed parts.

“We’ve had vehicles sitting in our yard waiting for catalytic converters since the summer time that we just can’t get parts for,” said Clark.

Catalytic converters are stolen for the precious metals inside. It’s a theft police say has dramatically increased with 62 reports made since just October. Police say most of those have been at commercial properties, and it’s not slowing down.

“I assume there are multiple groups of people going around and committing these thefts. There’s no one group in particular that’s responsible,” said Wallingford Police Sergeant Stephen Jaques.

Police said it’s happening across the state, and they’re partnering with law enforcement agencies to combat it.

In the meantime, authorities recommend keeping your car in a locked garage if you have one and installing a surveillance system.

“If you do have a business, try to park your vehicles in some kind of well-lit area that is close to the public eye so that if something is happening, somebody driving by can say something,” said Jaques.

Clark said they’ve taken every precaution they can, and so have many others up and down the road. But every new day, businesses wonder if they’ll be the next victim.

Businesses we spoke to say they’ve certainly seen an increased police presence in the area. The police department is also asking anyone who sees something suspicious to give them a call.

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