The theft of catalytic converters is not a new crime, but it is on the rise nationally and in the Kansas City metro. As news outlets report on the rise and possible reasons why, UMKC Police Department Community Engagement/Crime Prevention Officer Phillip Murphy and the Kansas City Police Department provide ways to help prevent catalytic converter thefts, which can also help with successful investigation and prosecution.

Theft prevention devices

  • Auto part accessory stores sell items like CatClamps and CAT Defenders to secure catalytic converters. Under-car alarm systems also are available. A quick online search for “catalytic converter theft prevention” reveals a number of possible tools.

Safe Parking Areas

  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • When possible park your vehicle inside a secured garage.

Mark your catalytic converter

  • The easier it is for police to connect a stolen catalytic converter to a vehicle in a theft report, the better for arrest and prosecution. Catalytic converters have no identifying numbers on them.
  • Mark your catalytic converters by engraving them or using an ultraviolet light pen with a personal identification number. You could use the car’s Vehicle Identification Number.

Report any damage or thefts immediately

  • Police are recovering stolen catalytic converters on a daily basis. The sooner you file a report with law enforcement, the more likely officers can link it to your vehicle and get the case prosecuted.
  • If you see something, say something! If you witness a crime on campus, call UMKC Police at 816-235-1515. Otherwise call 911.

Share any pertinent videos with law enforcement

  • If you have captured a catalytic converter theft on video, please share it with law enforcement as soon as possible. This helps police identify suspects.

Do not make your vehicle an easy target

  • Never leave a running vehicle unattended.
  • Always keep your vehicle secured.
  • Keep valuables out of sight.