Catalytic converter thefts sweep county

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CHAMBERSBURG—Pennsylvania State Police are investigating reports of catalytic converter thefts across Franklin County.

The latest victim was a business in the 600 block of Kriner Road in Guilford Township.

Since January, there have been 35 reports filed by Pennsylvania State Police relating to catalytic converters, with more than 97 vehicles affected, according to PSP.

Catalytic converters are typically found on the underside of a vehicle and serve as an exhaust emission control device designed to reduce toxic gases and pollutants.

According to police, the parts contain a variety of precious metals, which can bring a big payday for thieves when they sell them for scrap.

Meanwhile, the cost to replace the part can cost the vehicle’s owner hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the size of the vehicle.

Most catalytic converters do not include serial numbers, making it difficult for law enforcement to prove one is involved in a crime, so prevention is key.

“Churches and businesses with multiple vehicles parked for long periods of time have been targeted,” said Megan Ammerman, public information officer for PSP Troop H. “We suggest any car dealerships or auctions have cameras installed over the parking lot. If you cannot install cameras, check the vehicles periodically and park in a visible location for monitoring.”

Ammerman said owners should park unattended vehicles in a well-lit area and she advises the community to remain vigilant.

“If anyone sees any suspicious activity, report it to local law enforcement immediately,” Ammerman said. “Even if all you can provide is a vehicle or physical description of people acting suspiciously, report it to the police.”

PSP Chambersburg Station can be reached at 717-264-5161 or submit a tip through Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers.

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