LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Officers are investigating a recent rise in catalytic converter thefts in the Hill City.
The Lynchburg Police Department says the vehicles that have been targeted have been those with high ground clearance enabling easy access for thieves to quickly remove the device with a cutting tool.
Most vehicles are targeted overnight or over the weekend when businesses are closed, according to police.
Authorities say the majority of the thefts have taken place in business and church parking lots around Lynchburg.
Thieves are reportedly targeting catalytic converters due to the value of the previous metals inside of the casing. The converters are then sold to metal recyclers or to private individuals.
Police are warning residents to be aware of suspicious activity associated with the theft of catalytic converters which includes the following:
- A person working under a vehicle in a parking lot or behind a business
- A person with an electric saw or grinder appearing to work on a vehicle
- Cutting or grinding noises while the suspect is under a vehicle
- Subjects quickly jacking up a vehicle, sliding under it, and quickly leaving the scene
- While being done on vehicles in locations such as grocery store lots, apartment lots, parking garages, satellite parking areas, or on business-owned vehicles after hours.
The department asks residents to be mindful and report anything they believe may be suspicious.
If you have captured video of any incident involving the theft of a catalytic converter, you are asked to call the Lynchburg Police Department at (434) 455-6065 or share the footage on the Neighbors portal.
If you have information you can share about any of the thefts of catalytic converters in Lynchburg, call the Lynchburg Police Department at (434) 455-6141 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 798-5900.