Chesterton Tribune



Valparaiso Police warn that catalytic converter thieves are stealing in plain sight as they pretend to make repairs

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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 text.


Posted 2/28/2014