Catalytic converter thefts increase in Battle Ground

Every vehicle has a catalytic converter and every vehicle is a potential target

The theft of catalytic converters has increased at a national level and Battle Ground has not escaped the trend.  The Battle Ground Police Department wants you to know that this criminal activity is increasing in the community, how you can deter theft from your vehicle, what to watch for and how to report suspicious activity. 

Catalytic converters are expensive components of a vehicle’s exhaust system for the precious elements they contain. Every vehicle has a catalytic converter and every vehicle is a potential target. The cost to replace a converter can range from $600 to $3,000. File photo
Catalytic converters are expensive components of a vehicle’s exhaust system for the precious elements they contain. Every vehicle has a catalytic converter and every vehicle is a potential target. The cost to replace a converter can range from $600 to $3,000. File photo

Catalytic converters are expensive components of a vehicle’s exhaust system for the precious elements they contain.  Every vehicle has a catalytic converter and every vehicle is a potential target. The cost to replace a converter can range from $600 to $3,000. 

The thefts occur all hours of the day and night and take very little time – anywhere from one to five minutes. Thieves access the underside of a vehicle – with or without a car jack – and with the use of a reciprocating saw, quickly remove the catalytic converter. The thief will walk away with the converter, which looks like a muffler, to an accomplice waiting in a nearby parked but running vehicle.  

These criminals will drive a neighborhood multiple times, choosing the easiest vehicle to target.  Victims may not know the theft has occurred until they start their car and it makes a sound as if there is no muffler. 

Lifted vehicles that do not need a jack for access tend to be most targeted, but any vehicle is subject to theft.  There are ways, however, you can deter these criminals:

  • If you park outside, do so in a well-lit area.
  • Park close to a curb or another vehicle, making it difficult to place a jack under your vehicle
  • Consider purchasing and installing an anti-theft device
  • Get to know your neighbors so it’s easier to recognize people who may not belong in the neighborhood

The Battle Ground Police Department asks that you be alert to the signs of catalytic converter theft and report suspicious activity immediately by calling 9-1-1.  If you find you are a victim or become aware of suspicious activity after the fact, call 3-1-1.  Awareness and information sharing gives law enforcement the tools they need to prevent and solve crimes, and protect our community.  

Information provided by city of Battle Ground.

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