DeKALB – DeKalb and Northern Illinois University police continue to investigate several catalytic converter thefts within the past month, according to a Thursday news release from DeKalb Police Department.
According to the Thursday release, a catalytic converter is located under a vehicle and helps to reduce exhaust emissions. A vehicle without a catalytic converter will sound excessively loud, similar to a rumbling noise, and will not pass an emissions test.
“It can take thieves less than one minute to remove the converter from under your vehicle – this may allow thieves to commit several thefts in one night,” police wrote.
DeKalb Police Chief David Byrd said converters might be stolen to sell for cash, which makes it difficult for the victim of the theft.
“At the end of the day, if you think about it, these criminals can steal a catalytic converter, sell it to some other person – let’s say a mechanic or auto type business and auto repair business,” Byrd said. “And basically, if you’re the person who got your catalytic converter stolen, you could be buying back your own converter.”
Most thefts reported occurred in the northwest portion of DeKalb. However, Byrd said Friday, “it could be anywhere.”
“[Thieves are] looking for opportunity,” Byrd said. “It might be targeting certain vehicles – it looks like there were a lot of Hondas involved. I think it’s really more about opportunity at the end of the day. It has to be in the right circumstances, looking for opportunities where there is low light of course and no foot traffic.”
Police wrote in the Thursday release the suspect or suspects in connection with the incidents have not been identified at this time.
“The investigations into these thefts are ongoing and extra patrol has been provided to the area,” police officials wrote in the news release.
DeKalb police officials said they recommend motorists to park their vehicles in well-lit areas and to “report any suspicious people or vehicles to police immediately.”
“Video surveillance is always significant for us,” Byrd said Friday. “We will be reaching out to residents in the area and, with the opportunity to be able to view some of their home footage [and] surveillance, hopefully make an arrest based off of some of that footage.”
If anyone recognizes the vehicle or has any information on these crimes, law enforcement officials say they can contact the DeKalb Police Department at 815-748-8400, the Northern Illinois University Police Department at 815-753-1212, or Crime Stoppers at 815-895-3272.