The OCN Van gets jacked. Make that police report #258 now.
The OCN Van was jacked right in our office parking lot; the catalytic converter gone. Stolen, in fact. And clean off (see picture below).
We're not the only ones to have encountered this misfortune. According to a Denver Post article, there's been a 1,600% spike in catalytic-converter thefts in Denver during the pandemic. That translates to 257 police-reported thefts in 2020, with only 19 reported in 2019.
So why the catalytic converter?
The metal in this part is made with one of the precious metals: titanium, rhodium, or palladium, which garners anywhere from $200 to $1,000 at scrap yards. Not a bad chunk of change especially during a pandemic with unemployment at its lowest.
So what does a catalytic converter do?
It burns off excess fuel in the exhaust. This is what regulates your emissions, hence your car's emission test.
Good things to know:
- If your vehicle is lifted (easily accessible to crawl underneath), it takes a skilled person 5-10 minutes to remove the catalytic converter.
- Pay attention to your car engine light. If it's on and it wasn't before, you may want to check to see if your converter is still intact.
- Park in a well-lit area.
- Move your car frequently, especially if you're not driving it very often.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- If at all possible, don't leave in an unsecured parking lot.
- Park vehicle in the back of a building away from the main road.
As the OCN gets more information, we'll update you here. In the meantime, stay vigilant and keep your eyes open for the OCN Van (and our catalytic converter). We'll be cruising around just as soon as we can!
**All photos courtesy of OCN.
Have you been one of the unfortunate victims of this type of crime? Share in the comments.