Woodson County Sheriff’s Office warns about catalytic converter thefts

Woodson County Sheriffs Office Vehicle


YATES CENTER, Ks. – Woodson County’s Sheriff Jeff McCullough says his team has investigated at least five catalytic converter thefts since the start of the new year, and he has a theory as to why it’s happening in Woodson County, Kansas.

“You know the bottom line is, I believe it’s drug related. It goes all back to drugs. We have a meth problem in Woodson County,” said Sheriff McCullough.

A catalytic converter is a device that reduces toxic gases and other pollutants from a car’s exhaust. They’re frequently stolen because they contain precious metals which can fetch quick cash on the black market.

In Kansas, State Attorney General Derek Schmidt released a formal legal opinion stating that catalytic converters are covered under the Scrap Metal Theft Reduction Act. That means Kansas scrap metal dealers need to report the purchase of catalytic converters to the KBI’s database.

Sheriff McCullough thinks that’s a step in the right direction.

“We are going to be monitoring those scrap yards and make sure that they are reporting like they’re supposed to be reporting. If they’re not, we’ll be notifying the attorney general’s office and they’ll be investigated also,” said Sheriff McCullough.

When it comes to preventing catalytic converter thefts, the sheriff says to keep your car in a locked garage if possible and to consider some high tech help.

“I would suggest folks get a camera. They’re not that expensive. They’re relatively inexpensive and they’re pretty good insurance. If you can catch them on camera, that’s great for us,” said Sheriff McCullough.