Valparaiso Police are warning folks to be vigilant after an outbreak of
catalytic-converter thefts in the early morning hours on Thursday.
Twelve converters were stolen, police said, from vehicles parked in the lots
of larger apartment complexes on the north and south sides of the city. The
converters were all cut from the vehicles and removed, for an estimated loss
in each case of $450.
The theft spree on Thursday follows a rash of catalytic converter thefts in
Portage over the last few weeks.
Investigators believe that the thieves--more than one person is
involved--may be stealing in plain sight, under a ruse, and have probably
actually been witnessed in the act. The suspects appear to be parking their
own vehicle near the target vehicle. Then, while one of the suspects
pretends to be making repairs on their vehicle, the other slips under the
target vehicle and uses a power tool to severe the catalytic converter.
Anyone who observes or hears suspicious activity near a parked
vehicle--especially one in an apartment complex--is urged to call police
immediately. Persons can also text a crime tip to TIP411 (847-411). Remember
to enter “Valpo” as the keyword in the message field before sending the