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Catalytic converter thefts often have armed 'lookout'

In the last 3 years, there have been at least 135 reports of a person brandishing a firearm in connection to a catalytic converter theft.

DENVER — The Denver Police Department (DPD) is issuing a warning to the community regarding catalytic converter thefts.

DPD said while reviewing catalytic converter theft incidents, one alarming trend stood out – a “lookout.” 

Since March of 2019, there have been approximately 135 reports of a person brandishing or menacing with a firearm in connection to a catalytic converter theft, according to DPD.

Residents reported going outside to investigate a suspicious noise and discovering someone attempting to remove their catalytic converter, then being confronted by an accomplice serving as a lookout who is often armed.

DPD said it is unaware of anyone being injured when confronted by a “lookout,” but recognizes the danger this poses.

As with any crime in progress, residents are strongly encouraged to avoid engaging with suspects, to call 911, and to be a good witness who can share relevant details with responding police officers.

Tips for protecting catalytic converters:

  • If your converter is attached with bolts, weld the bolts in place or cut the heads off. This makes it nearly impossible for the bolts to be loosened.
  • Get your converter etched or engraved with your information. Thieves like to steal converters and sell them to scrap yards. If your converter has your info on it, and not the thieves', it could keep them from even taking it because this makes it harder to sell. 
  • Park your vehicle strategically, in a well-lit area and utilize a secure garage when possible.
  • Make use of a car alarm system if possible.
  • There are also a number of catalytic converter theft prevention kits on the market that create a cage around your converter, making it harder for thieves to steal them.   

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