Opinion: Catalytic Converter Thefts, Enabled by Junkyards


Submitted by Michael Martinez

Catalytic converter thefts seem to have surged in the last year. Despite the growing number of incidents, I feel that law enforcement has not taken the issue seriously enough to deter would-be thieves.

It’s no secret that law enforcement agencies are often stretched thin, juggling multiple priorities and responsibilities. Given this reality, it’s understandable that some crimes may receive less attention than others. However, when it comes to catalytic converter thefts, the lack of attention from law enforcement appears to be due to several factors.

I firmly believe that the best way to address this pandemic of thefts is that junkyards must take responsibility for their part in the equation. Many junkyards purchase catalytic converters from individuals, no questions asked, which can create a lucrative market for thieves. To combat this issue, junkyards need to:

  1. Implement stricter purchasing protocols: Junkyards should require proper identification and documentation from individuals looking to sell catalytic converters. This would create a paper trail that could help law enforcement track down stolen parts.
  2. Educate employees: Junkyard owners should invest in training their employees to spot signs of stolen catalytic converters and report suspicious activity to law enforcement.
  3. Collaborate with law enforcement: By working closely with local law enforcement agencies, junkyards can help identify and report trends in catalytic converter thefts, making it easier for the police to target and apprehend thieves.

Catalytic converter thefts are more than just a nuisance; they are a costly and disruptive crime that affects countless individuals each year. It’s time for both law enforcement and junkyards to recognize the severity of this issue and take meaningful action to address it.


Janet Donahoe obituary 1935~2023

A graduate of Wilson College and The Catholic University of America, Janet taught English and Latin in Pennsylvania and was a school librarian in Virginia. 

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