GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Goodlettsville police are asking the public for leads in a catalytic converter theft where the criminal is shown on surveillance video riding a scooter while committing the crime.
The theft happened on Monday at around 4 a.m. in a Goodlettsville church parking lot. In the surveillance video, a man is shown riding on a scooter with a catalytic converter from the church’s bus in his hands, which he throws in a bush. He returns later in what appears to be a dark Hyundai Elantra, puts the catalytic converter in the back seat, jumps in the car, and the woman driving him speeds off.
It’s just one example of the more than 20 catalytic converter thefts the city of Goodlettsville has seen this year.
“It’s a quick crime that they’ll do. They’ll just jump under there with an electric saw, and they’ll cut it off,” Detective Jeff Hunter with Goodlettsville police said. “They’ll go around targeting vehicles, researching which ones are going for more, and they’ll commit the thefts.”
Catalytic converters are valuable to thieves because of the precious metal inside them, including platinum, palladium and rhodium. Converters will sell for top dollar at scrap yards and even Facebook marketplace, according to Hunter.
Hunter told News 2 on average it costs around $1,500 to replace one. However, for this church, it’s about more than just the money.
“It’s their church bus; it’s how they get the kids going from place to place,” Hunter said. “It’s affecting not only the church, but other businesses as well.”
According to the National Crime Insurance Bureau, from 2019-2020, there was a 325% spike in catalytic converter thefts in the U.S.
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Goodlettsville police said catalytic converter thefts can be complicated crimes to investigate, but in the past, officers have had luck identifying suspects with the public’s help.
If you know anything about the two thieves shown in the surveillance video, call Goodlettsville police at (615) 851-5111.