As catalytic converter thefts spike, Greensboro drivers are left footing the bill

Piedmont Triad News

GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise in Greensboro.

Criminals are after the exhaust control device that’s under your vehicle for the precious metals inside.

More than a dozen catalytic converters were stolen off UPS trucks at the distribution facility on Flagstone Street on Sunday, according to Greensboro police. Some of the trucks were 2022 models.

UPS isn’t the only business feeling the impact of the crime along Industrial Avenue. 

“If you leave your car overnight which I did this summer and went out of town and when I came back my catalytic converter was gone,” said Jeannie Hoag, who works in the area. “They scout the neighborhoods, they find the cars they want and they wanted a car there.” 

In minutes, Hoag’s catalytic converter was stolen out from under her Toyota FJ Cruiser when it was parked in front of her business on Manufacturers Road in February. 

“They just get under there, cut them out and take off,” she said. 

She didn’t realize something was wrong until she started her SUV. 

“It’s so loud I hated to drive it up the street to the muffler place,” Hoag said. 

Les Werner’s catalytic converter went missing on his Lincoln Continental around 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 5 when it was parked off Industrial Ave.

“I wasn’t surprised, I mean it’s happening all over town to everybody,” Werner said. “All these people in this area are going through the same thing.” 

Surveillance video showed someone walking away with it.

“It doubles my mechanic’s work and inconveniences all of us,” he said. 

Werner’s workplace, UPS, was hit by thieves on Dec. 26. There are 15 trucks left idle until new catalytic converters are installed. Getting a new catalytic converter isn’t cheap.  

“It’s easily another $800 to $1,000 after you add everything up,” Werner said. 

Automobile accessory thefts including catalytic converters have almost doubled this year. 

Greensboro police report 1,091 automobile accessory thefts cases in 2021 compared to 636 cases in 2020.

Hoag and Werner are calling for those responsible to be put behind bars.  

“We can’t just let criminals keep running the streets and doing what they want and not making them accountable,” Hoag said. “There’s got to be a bail, so they don’t get right back out and do it again.”

A new law in North Carolina makes stealing a catalytic converter a class one felony and imposes a $1,000 fine. 

FOX8 reached out to UPS for comment but have not heard back yet. 

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

MOST POPULAR

get the app

My FOX8 News App

Follow FOX8 on Twitter