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Catalytic Converter Thefts on the Rise
In 2020, there was a considerable increase in catalytic converter thefts across Henrico County and throughout the entire Richmond Region. Henrico Police detectives, along with other area law enforcement agencies, are diligently working to identify suspects in these thefts.
One of the most valuable tools in solving these crimes is for businesses to have security cameras installed and operable, recording all sides of the business. Surveillance video not only gives police detectives a look at the suspect(s), but valuable information is also obtained, such as suspect vehicle description and time stamp of when thefts are occurring. Having a time frame allows us to acquire additional information or footage more easily from neighboring businesses that may have a better view of the suspect(s) or suspect vehicles. In addition, we can increase awareness of these thefts by sharing surveillance video with other law enforcement agencies.
There are several things businesses can do to help deter and prevent catalytic converter thefts, as well as assist police in identifying suspects:
- Park your work vehicles in a well-lit area. Bright lights help deter theft. Thieves prefer dark parking lots where shadows camouflage their activity.
- Point your surveillance cameras in the direction of your vehicles as best you can.
- If you do not have surveillance cameras on your business, it is highly recommended you purchase some. It does not have to be the most high-tech system available on the market. Something is better than nothing.
In these cases – what police call crimes of opportunity – it is critical detectives have video of the crime. It is very rare to see a set pattern to catalytic converter thefts. The small details obtained from each report and surveillance video is how detectives put these cases together.
- The most important thing you can do is report any theft to police. If no report is made, we do not know who, what, where, and when a theft has occurred. Reports play a very important role in identifying crime trends and help us determine when and where to increase patrol.
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