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Omaha police arrest 15 people suspected of catalytic converter thefts

Omaha police arrest 15 people suspected of catalytic converter thefts

With thefts on the rise nationwide, here are some tips to protect your catalytic converter.

The Omaha Police Department announced the arrests of 15 people suspected of catalytic converter thefts Wednesday.

The arrests come amid a spike in catalytic converter thefts, including the July theft of 12 catalytic converters, valued at $1,500 each, from school buses parked at a company lot near 85th Street and Crown Point Avenue in northwest Omaha.

A catalytic converter is an emission control device that can cost up to $3,000 to replace. Each catalytic converter contains small amounts of valuable metals such as platinum, palladium or rhodium and can command a large sum as scrap metal.

Omaha police were assisted by the La Vista Police Department and the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office in the arrests of the men and women, who range in age from 26 to 55 years old. Investigations into the thefts began in February and are ongoing, according to a press release from Omaha police.

Anyone with information regarding people suspected of being involved in the thefts can call the Omaha Police Auto Theft Unit at 402-444-5590. Tips can also be shared anonymously through Omaha Crime Stoppers at 402-444-STOP (7867), at www.p3tips.com or by downloading the p3tips mobile app. Tips leading to an arrest in the catalytic converter thefts are eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

To avoid catalytic converter thefts, police suggest parking your vehicle inside a secure garage or secure yard or to park in a way that prevents access to the undercarriage.

Motion lights or continuous lights are suggested if parking in a driveway. Park in areas that are covered by video surveillance, if available.

Mark or engrave your vehicle’s catalytic converter with the vehicle license plate or VIN number, or with brightly colored, high-temperature paint. This will help law enforcement to track a converter back to your vehicle in the event of a theft.


jwade@owh.com

402-444-1067

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Jessica Wade covers breaking news, crime and the Omaha zoo. Follow her on Twitter @Jess_Wade_OWH. Phone: 402-444-1067

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