Pittsburg police: 50+ reports of catalytic converter thefts in 6 months

Catalyltic Converter Thefts

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg police remind residents to be vigilant after taking 52 reports of catalytic converter thefts in six months.

The Pittsburg Police Department says they took those 52 reports during the first six months of 2021. They also documented 12 reports of catalytic converter thefts during the last six months of 2020.

A catalytic convertor is part of a vehicle’s exhaust system. Thieves target them because of precious metals like platinum, palladium, or rhodium contained within them. Thieves can remove a catalytic converter in the matter of a few minutes with the assistance of a battery-powered saw.

That’s why police are reminding residents to remain vigilant of their personal property.

Currently in Pittsburg, larger passenger vans, buses, super duty trucks, and recreational vehicles are the primary targets due to their high precious metal content. However, thieves can potentially target all vehicles.

Businesses with buses, work trucks or passenger vans have unfortunately fallen victim to these thefts as well as recreational vehicles that are stored and not often checked on.

The Pittsburg Police Department says prosecution in these types of cases can be difficult due to little identification differing stolen converters from others. It can cost a victim up to $2,000 to replace a stolen catalytic converter.


The Pittsburg Police Department encourages residents to take the following precautions to reduce their risk of becoming a victim of these thefts.

  • Park vehicles in well-lit areas
  • Park vehicles in view of security cameras
  • If in a parking lot, park vehicles near the roadway where routine traffic can deter a theft
  • Block the undercarriage of the vehicle to make it harder for a thief to reach the catalytic converter
  • Calibrate vehicle alarms to set off when it detects vibration
  • Etch a unique owner identification number into the converter and write that number down in the event it is later needed

The Pittsburg Police Department reminds residents to stay vigilant and if you see suspicious activity, report it to the Pittsburg Police Department by calling dispatch at 620-231-1700. If you have information about criminal activity or knowledge of stolen property, you can leave an anonymous tip at 620-231-TIPS (8477).