Cheyenne police are warning the public about a recent increase in catalytic converter thefts from parked cars.

Detective Bureau Lieutenant Rob Dafoe says the thefts are happening both day and night.

"Thieves will crawl underneath the vehicle and cut the converter out with a saw," said Dafoe. "Some have gotten so good at removing them, that it can be done within minutes."

"In most cases, you won't know this has happened until you start your car," he added. "You will hear excessive noise that amplifies as you push the gas pedal."

Catalytic converters, which are part of a vehicle's exhaust system, are most sought out by thieves because they contain precious metals and can be sold for scrap.

"Converters are being sold anywhere from $50 to $875 and can cost the vehicle owner thousands of dollars to replace," police said in a news release.

To help prevent catalytic converter theft, police recommend people follow these tips:

  • Report someone acting suspiciously around parked vehicles, during the day or at night. This could mean looking under different cars and carrying tools.
  • When possible, park in a garage or secured parking area. It is best to find well-lit areas, close to building entrances.
  • Fleet vehicles and minimally used vehicles should be parked in a secured, alarmed and well-lit area.
  • If you have a car alarm, calibrate it so that it will activate when it detects vibration.

Anyone with information about stolen catalytic converters is asked to contact Detective Harper at (307) 637-6587.

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