Catalytic converter thefts: Maricopa County Attorney's Office seeing rise in crimes

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says her office is working to address catalytic converter thefts, which are rising rapidly in Arizona.

"Nothing is more disruptive to our lives when our personal property that we rely on to get to work, to get to school, is suddenly, and honestly in about a matter of a minute, stolen or damaged," Mitchel said Wednesday at a news conference.

In 2020, police in Phoenix took 715 cases of reported catalytic converter thefts, up from 72 cases in 2019. Last year, cases grew to 4,700, and through February of this year, police have taken 690 reports – with some cases possibly including multiple stolen converters.

MORE: 'Staggering': Phoenix Police sees nearly 6,500% spike in reported catalytic converter theft cases

Other cities in the Valley are also seeing a spike in reported catalytic converter thefts. In Mesa, police saw a climb of 814% in stolen converter cases in 2021 with 631 reports. Chandler Police reported a little more than 400 cases, compared to only 22 in 2020, and over 100 cases this year through February.

If you become a victim, it can cost upwards of $3,000 to get your car fixed. 

MORE: Imprisoned for years: Prolific catalytic converter thief taken off Arizona's streets

To help deal with rising catalytic converter thefts, the attorney's office says it is holding an engraving event, teaming up with Tempe Police and Midas. Getting your converter etched discourages thieves from taking it, and it makes it easier to prosecute the thieves.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 14, at the Midas in the Tempe Autoplex. The event is open to all Maricopa County residents. Appointments are preferred.

Catalytic Converter Etching Event

Tips to keep your catalytic converter safe provides ways to keep your device safe:

  • Park in a well-lit area
  • Get your license plate number etched onto your catalytic converter
  • Consider buying an anti-theft device like a cat-clamp to deter thieves

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