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Mystery Car Returns to Katy Neighborhood Allegedly Scouting Catalytic Converters; More Theft Reports

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

March 29, 2022

By Natalie Cook Clark


Catalytic converter theft continues to be a problem in the Katy area. Residents continue to report thefts from local hotels and even Katy Mills. A car allegedly scouting converters in a Katy neighborhood was caught on camera again last night.


Photo courtesy of Luis. J.


Katy Residents Share Catalytic Converter Theft Experiences

Katy residents continue to share stories warning fellow Katyites of catalytic converter thefts. One newcomer experienced this crime just after moving here.



On March 3, 2022 Eddie Ridel was parked at Katy Mills near the AMC Theater’s entrance. “It was stolen in the middle of the day and has been at the dealership ever since,” says Eddie Ridel.


I had my catalytic converter cut from my Toyota Sequoia while staying at a Katy, TX hotel near the mall during a Spring Break trip earlier this month,” says Jamie Sutton.


Some people have been lucky, but residents are actively speaking out to raise awareness to this problem.


Mystery Car Returns to Katy Trails

A week ago, Katy Magazine reported on catalytic converter theft in Katy neighborhoods and Luis J. of Katy Trails shared a video of a car allegedly scouting vehicles on his street.


“A car slowed down and parked across the street,” says Luis. “He got out to look under the car to steal the catalytic converter. I have a cheap 3rd party one so he decided he did not want it.”


Last night, the same vehicle returned. Luis caught the car on camera. He is circulating the video and picture on social media hoping to raise awareness and make people aware of what’s going on. While Katy Trails, like many Katy neighborhoods, has experienced catalytic converter theft it is not known if this vehicle is responsible.


“They’re coming into the neighborhoods now and that’s the concerning part,” says Ridel.


Parking lots are also at risk. According to authorities, any place where people are expected to be parked a while and distracted sets a perfect scenario. However, local law enforcement says the catalytic converters can be sawed out from under a vehicle in less than a minute.


“I wrote a review on Google for the hotel, filed a police report and shared with my friends on Facebook to raise awareness,” says Sutton. “I hope the news coverage helps law enforcement find these criminals and hold them accountable to the extent of the law.”


Texas Cracks Down

This is a problem seen across the entire country and last year 11 states past legislation to help thwart these crimes.


Texas legislators passed laws that help prevent the sale of stolen items such as catalytic converters. These laws ban the sale of converters without proof of ownership. They also tightening scrap metal dealers’ recordkeeping requirements and increase criminal penalties.


While Katy continues to see a steady stream in these crimes, local authorities say that they have seen a decline in case numbers over the past three months.


Take Precautions

There are precautions that you can take to not guarantee but help decrease your chance of being victimized.

  • Park your car in a well-lit area and if all possible keep it in your garage.

  • Spray the converter with bright, high temperature paint to mark it. This will help authorities and shops ID stolen converters.

  • When in a parking lot, park near the store and not near the exit. Criminals will look for an easy exit.

  • Engrave your license plate number or the last 4 digits of your VIN on the converter to help authorities ID it.

  • There are devices such as a plate that you can attach to the bottom of your vehicle to restrict access to the converter.

Katy Magazine continue to follow this ongoing concern to our community.


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