For years I’ve been telling you about scammers targeting catalytic converters on your car.
WRTV looked into who’s buying them and what local agencies and lawmakers are doing to put an end to it.
Central Indiana recycling shops can buy catalytic converters, but according to WRTV sources, many of them go to Edinburg.
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office makes it their mission to make illegal sales difficult.
“It’s been going on for as long as I can remember,” Major Damien Catt said.
Major Cathy is the Chief of Investigations for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. He said stealing a catalytic converter could take a few minutes for someone who knows what they’re doing.
“It’s not just a cheap quick fix. It could end up being over $1,000,” Kat said.
WRTV spoke with a Johnson County resident who did not want to be identified but said his catalytic converter was stolen while at Dave and Buster’s. He told me it happened in the middle of the day in a busy parking lot.
“Someone stands by the car. You’ll see the door open, somebody slide out, get under the car, and in less than a minute they can jump back in the car and take off,” Kat said.
Cate said the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is doing everything it can to protect Johnson County residents from similar thefts.
“All agencies experience the same frustration when you can’t help someone,” Kat said.
They helped with new state legislation, conducted audits, and worked undercover to see who was buying these stolen cores.
“There are recycling businesses that buy these cores,” Kat said. “We found that there are people in some of these businesses who are knowingly buying these stolen catalysts.”
New legislation came into effect in July last year, making it harder to buy catalytic converters illegally in these areas and for less desirable criminals to steal them.
As of July 1, 2022, businesses can only pay $25 in cash for the catalyst, the rest must be in the form of a check.
A seller can only sell one catalyst per day. The seller must have a signed affidavit from the police agency stating that the seller legally owns the catalytic converter.
Kat said they notified shoppers of the new changes last summer.
“Then we waited a certain amount of time and did another audit to see if there was compliance, and we saw more compliance, but not everyone was complying,” Cat said.
After that, a covert operation.
“We sent guys out to see who was guarding. Did our boys run away because they didn’t have proper documents or was there a way out? We learned there was a way out,” Kat said.
According to him, they are now working to stop these works.
“We do this for the citizens of Johnson County,” said Kat.