Police investigate string of catalytic converters stolen from Priuses

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 10:19 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Metro Nashville Police are investigating a string of catalytic converter thefts in neighborhoods across the city.

Officers said thieves are targeting cars parked on the street, like Sandy Solomon’s Toyota Prius that was vandalized overnight.

“I was shocked because I didn’t even know stealing catalytic converters was a thing,” Solomon said.

Solomon found a pile of bolts and springs sitting on the ground next to her car after her neighbor, Tim Holman, noticed the thieves on his security cameras. It cost her more than $3,600 to replace the part and get her car back up and running.

“I was lucky because my repair place had a catalytic converter in stock,” Solomon said. “I imagine for some people they would have to wait while the catalytic converter is ordered. So, not only is it an inconvenience, but it is terrifically expensive. Two days without a car, how many people want to be two days without a car? No, we don’t.”

Holman’s cameras captured the SUV pulling up behind Solomon’s Prius, lifting it, and taking the catalytic converter. Two other Priuses in the same area also had their catalytic converters stolen that night.

“Toyota Priuses, being hybrid vehicles, they don’t have as much emissions,” Holman said. “The lower emissions means there’s less wear and tear on the catalytic converters.”

Metro Police recommend parking your car off the street in a driveway or garage or marking your catalytic converter, making it easier to track. In addition, you can spray paint it with a bright color to deter thieves or etch a phone number into it to help it be tracked down.

“I’m worried about the future because if it’s that easy to steal a catalytic converter, then I have to worry about that,” Solomon said. “I probably will buy a means of protecting the catalytic converter so that it doesn’t happen again. But why should I have to do that?”

Solomon said beyond catching the two men who took part from her car, she’s hoping police find the metal dealers who pay a top dollar for these catalytic converters.

“I think anyone can be a target,” Holman said. “Certainly, catalytic converter theft is an epidemic all over the country. It’s becoming more of a growing crime here in Nashville. The best we can do is stay alert, install surveillance cameras, and if you’re one of the very vulnerable vehicles targeted by the thieves, install a catalytic converter shield, an anti-theft shield. Those are your best strategies.”

The Metro Police auto theft division is investigating this case. If you recognize the suspects or something similar happens to your car, you are asked to call the police.

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