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Absecon police warn of catalytic converter thefts

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ABSECON — There is a trend of catalytic converter thefts in the city, according to a post on the Police Department’s Facebook page.

There has been a series of thefts targeting catalytic converters on vehicles parked outside people’s homes, police said. They suggested residents protect their vehicles by installing motion-sensitive lights or security cameras on their properties.

The post warns it typically takes less than a minute for somebody to saw off a catalytic converter from a vehicle.

Catalytic converters transform toxic emissions — hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides — into less harmful byproducts. People tend to steal them because of the precious metals the converters contain. Thieves can sell them for anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 per converter.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed a law Tuesday intended to help prevent the sale of stolen catalytic converters. The legislation prohibits junk dealers, junk yards and related businesses from accepting a catalytic converter unless it is attached to a vehicle or the dealers obtain certain documentation. This documentation includes the seller’s name and driver’s license, a stock number for the converter and a license plate number of the vehicle used to transport the converter.

Absecon residents are urged to call police if they notice anything suspicious. Anyone with information about catalytic converter thefts can call police at 609-641-0667 or Atlantic County Crime Stoppers at 800-658-TIPS or 800-658-8477. They also can text TIPCOP to 274637 (CRIMES).

Press wire services contributed to this report.

Contact Chris Doyle

cdoyle@pressofac.com

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