KYLE, TX – The Kyle Police Department and Dave’s Kyle Auto Repair have teamed up for a free catalytic converter burning event. This is in response to the increasing number of catalytic converter thefts.
About 55 cars were brought in.
Mechanics engrave people’s license plate numbers on their catalytic converters. That way, if it gets stolen, it will be easier to track.
Bernie Koepsel brought his car for the event.
“With converter theft on the rise, and replacing them quite expensive, anything I can do to help stop these people from stealing converters is a no-brainer,” he said.
He says his catalytic converter was stolen in November and it took about a thousand dollars to replace.
“He was hit where I work in downtown Buda, and it took them less than a minute when they pulled up next to the vehicle, turned off the converter and drove off. “, said Koepsel.
“Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise not only locally in Kyle, Central Texas, but statewide and nationwide,” said Kyle Police Department Officer James Plant.
Plant says they’ve had 13 reported thefts so far this year within the city limits. Some people don’t report, but officers say you should.
“That way officers know things are going on in that area, and we can keep more patrols going in that area,” Plant said.
He says thieves typically target parking lots in places where lots of people go.
David Duarte, owner of Dave’s Kyle Auto Repair, says if your catalytic converter is stolen, you’ll be able to tell by sound.
“As soon as you start it, it will be so loud that you can’t even drive it then,” he said.
If a stolen catalytic converter is easier to track, the chances of recovering your property and prosecuting the thief will be higher.
“If it’s stolen at that time and makes it to a recycling center, they usually have a DPS there, which means they’ll check the background of the catalytic converter and see exactly where it comes from,” Duarte said.
“The reason they want the catalytic converters is because they contain precious metals, and that’s why they recycle them, they cut them up, take that, that’s what they use. earn their money,” Plant said.
Duarte says a thief is unlikely to try to get rid of the engraving.
“The chances of them going through each one individually are super slim,” he said.
If you missed the event but want to have it engraved, Dave’s Kyle Auto Repair says they’ll schedule appointments for free.
In the meantime, if you see anything suspicious, report it to law enforcement.
“I just wish we could do more to prevent thefts from happening. I think law enforcement maybe needs to do a little more to monitor where these items are being sold,” Koepsel said.