Closings and delays

Increase in catalytic converter thefts in Greensboro

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- In the parking lot outside his cremation business, Tony Carter says thieves stole the catalytic converter from the limo he uses to serve grieving families.

"It was very sad that someone would do that to a business or to anyone," Carter said.

He owns Regional Memorial Cremation and Funeral Services on Arnold Street.

On Aug. 30, surveillance video shows thieves running with the converter then taking off.

When Carter tried to start the limo the next day, he knew something was wrong.

"It sounded like a race car,” he said. “That wouldn't be sufficient for funerals or picking up the deceased."

Luckily, he didn't lose business and was able to use a limo from another funeral home.

But just two days later on Sept. 2, thieves came back again, stealing their second converter from a hearse.

"It really hurt," Carter said.

Carter isn't alone.

In September, Greensboro police had 24 reports of catalytic converter thefts and 15 in October.

Police say thieves sell the convertors for quick cash at scrap yards.

"A quick crime, it only takes about two or three minutes when you have a group of three or four guys," said Officer Darryl Stevenson, of Greensboro police.

Stevenson thinks some of the thefts are linked.

"I think the one group that I'm actually investigating is hitting up a lot places," he said.

Carter says he's gotten both converters replaced, costing him more than $1,000 each.

"Very expensive and very costly," Carter said.

But he says the biggest hit was being violated twice in the community he works hard to serve.

"This place here helps a lot of people,” the owner said. “We do what we can to help out families and for those that are in need."

Police say drivers should keep a few things in mind to keep their vehicles safe.

Greensboro police suggest parking in a garage or an area with fencing.

They also say you should try to park in well-lit areas.