WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)—From 2019 to 2022, the Wichita Falls community experienced 130 reported catalytic convertor thefts, and in order to deter thefts from stealing in the future a new ordinance was put in place back in December, coming with not only new rules but hefty fines for those caught. According to Sergeant Eipper, this new ordinance will only allow metal recyclers and those that can prove where the converters came from to possess them, and if you get caught, you’re gonna have to pay a pretty hefty fine.
Owner of Todd’s Auto Repair, Ray Stephens said the reason why catalytic converters are specifically sought after is the precious metals contained inside of the auto part, and for those that don’t know what that part is, Stephens said you’ll know when yours has been stolen.
“You’re going to know if it’s missing because your car is going to run awful loud, when you first initially start it it’s not going to be quiet it’s going to sound like a freight train it’s going to be loud,” Stephens said.
Stephens said if the thief has a good enough saw, it’ll take them longer to get under the car than to actually cut it out, something that Sergeant Eipper is hoping to put a stop to with a new ordinance put in place.
“For each catalytic converter that the possessor cannot prove they possess them legally, that’s a charge, so that’s a ticket,” Eipper said.
A ticket with a price tag of 500 dollars, and Eipper said if you see something say something.
“If it’s somebody that you know, you can hear them grinding underneath that car call 911, call us so that we can respond. This is happening in broad daylight and in parking lots so if you see suspicious activity please call us, and we’ll check it out,” Eipper said.
He said most metal recyclers are exempt from the ordinance and said they will report to the police any suspicious converters turned into their facilities.
Stephens said if your catalytic converter has been cut off, you should get your vehicle into an auto shop immediately to have the problem diagnosed.