Thieves targeting catalytic converters in cars in Kernersville

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. -- Kernersville police say thieves are stealing catalytic converters right out from under cars, leaving people hundreds of dollars in the hole.

“In probably the last month or so I’m starting notice people come in,” said Justin Emory, manager at Perfection Exhaust Inc. in Kernersville.

Emory says the shop has seen cars come in with missing catalytic converters.

“So, thieves will crawl up under them and cut them out and they're gone in a matter of minutes and there you are spending $250-300 to get you a new catalytic converter,” Emory said.

“What they do is burn off the unburned fuel that goes through the engine and it keeps your emissions down,” he said.

Emory says that they have been noticing trend of cars that have been in with the missing part.

“Here lately I’ve done about six or seven Honda Accords. About two Ford vans, like a 15-passenger van, and a couple of the Chevrolet work vans,” Emory said.

Kernersville police are noticing the same trend.

Officers say there's been an uptick in catalytic converters being stolen from mostly Honda Accords.

“They are pretty brazen. It looks like they hit right here in the front,” said David Carandola, owner of C&H Discount Auto.

Carandola says his shop was hit about a month ago on a Saturday.

“They are pretty bold and they don't think twice about hurting your livelihood or something like that. It actually cost me around $1,100,” he said.

“I actually almost caught the guys. I was just riding by security checking the place and seen the shadow hop the fence, our older fence and I about had him,” said Mark Golden, vice president of C&H.

Since the incident they’ve had to install a new fence to keep it from happening again, along with upping their security measures.

“That's the thing. It's going to cost you one way or another. One way or another it cost me,” Carandola said.

“Catalytic converters have precious metals in them. Their scrap metal is worth more than your typical just plain metal,” Emory said.

Workers at C&H say that you should pay very close attention where you park your car.

Police also say that apartment complexes are another hot spot for thieves.​