Catalytic converter thefts on the rise again in the Columbus area
OSU police say theft of catalytic converters from cars is now an issue again not just around the Ohio State campus but also around the city of Columbus. They said there have been more than 40 reported catalytic converter thefts on campus in the last few months, 18 of them from January of this year alone.
“Someone, if they have the right tools and they have familiarity with the exhaust system of a vehicle, they can be in and out of a parking lot [in] 30 seconds taking one of these catalytic converters, “ said Lt. Bruce Allen with Ohio State University Police.
Lt. Allen said it's a problem law enforcement throughout the region is battling.
“Just to put it in perspective, in the city of Columbus everything's tracked through the scrapyards, they have to report certain things that are sold to them. 572 catalytic converters were sold to scrap yards in January, “said Allen.
Under Ohio law, one catalytic converter per person per day can be sold to a scrap metal dealer.
One car is being targeted more than others on campus. Lt. Allen said 15 of the thefts have involved the Toyota Prius.
One part of campus also seems to be attracting a lot of attention.
“West Campus is where you see some of our larger parking lots like the Carmack lot, so we have seen more of the thefts on the west campus, not so much on the east side of the river, “ he said.
Police say to be on the lookout for suspicious activity in parking lots and garages.
A bill making its way through the Ohio House could make selling stolen catalytic converters to scrap yards a crime.
House Bill 408 was introduced by Representative Bob Young last September. The bill is currently waiting for a second hearing in the criminal justice committee.