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Authorities: Catalytic converter thefts continue to rise across New Jersey

Wall Township police say they have seen a 600% increase in catalytic converter thefts since 2020.

Jim Murdoch

Jan 22, 2024, 10:46 PM

Updated 146 days ago

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Already this year, many police departments in New Jersey have their hands full responding to reports of catalytic converter thefts.
Wall Township police are continuing an education campaign to teach locals about what they can do to better protect their vehicles. Wall has seen a 600% increase in catalytic converter thefts since 2020.
"These guys who come down, they’re quick, in and out, they know what they’re looking for," said Wall Township Police Officer Karleigh Cacciatore.
A theft Sunday night was caught on camera in Highland Park, while Wall recorded 34 thefts in 2023, up from just five in 2020.
"They are using saws, so if you hear a dog barking in the middle of the night, it alerts you and suddenly you hear a saw, call us. If it’s nothing, no big deal. But if it’s something, we get to come out and hopefully catch these guys," explained Cacciatore.
She says most thieves show up in town in stolen BMWs and Audis, and specifically target Hondas, Volkswagens and work vans.
Union County officials held a program over the weekend where for no charge, crews etched and painted catalytic converters, making them more difficult to trade – and acting as a deterrent to criminals.
Police say – much like car thieves – you never know if catalytic converter thieves may have a weapon on them. They are using saws and that alone is a weapon – so don’t go after them. Call the police – and let them handle the apprehensions and arrests.


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