FRESNO (KMJ) – A disturbing crime trend has returned, a flashback to the days of the Great Recession a decade ago.
Catalytic converters, the metal pipes on the undersides of cars and trucks that filter engine exhaust, are at a premium, for crooked recyclers.
Fresno police chief Jerry Dyer says they’re getting ripped out, stolen from cars, mostly between midnight and 6 a.m.
“We haven’t seen catalytic thefts for many years,” Dyer said.
But thieves are after them again. 48 were stolen between May and August of this year, nearly 30 of those, in the southeast part of town. Eight in the last week.
“In some cases a catalytic converter can be sold for $30, in other cases it can be sold to a recycler for a lot more money than that,” Dyer said.
The chief says his department is keeping an eye on local recyclers to make sure they’re not buying stolen catalytic converters.