JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – Catalytic converters continue to be a popular item for thieves.
More recently, an auto repair shop that’s been in Jackson for nearly three decades was hit on Christmas morning.
Allen Enterprises owner George Allen said there were at least two other car shops in the area that also had catalytic converters stolen in the past month.
He said he filed a police report but has yet to hear from Jackson police, which is likely due to the holiday weekend.
“It’s happened in people’s driveways, it’s happened on the side of the road, it’s the first time it’s ever happened to me,” Allen said.
It’s a common problem and one that has skyrocketed across the country during the pandemic. Unfortunately for Allen, it happened on Christmas morning.
“I learned about it half an hour before dinner with my family. My brother was there for the first time this year,” he said. “I eat with my dad, mum and try not to complain during family dinner. I found it very painful. »
Between July 2020 and June 2021, State Farm says the theft of catalytic converters has increased by nearly 293% nationally. This is in terms of the number of claims filed over the previous 12 months.
“It’s the kind of thing that hits ordinary people where it really hurts,” Allen said.
Allen recommends parking your car in the garage when possible and said another great way to prevent these types of crimes, as well as catch thieves after the fact, is to place surveillance cameras in visible areas. for those outside the building.
He estimates the thieves stole three to four thousand dollars worth of catalytic converters in the 30 minutes they were there.
“The material inside is platinum used to convert unburned gasoline into a more environmentally friendly substance, and they are very expensive,” he said.
Allen said seven of the cars were his and three of them belonged to customers. Technically, he is not responsible for the costs associated with customer cars, but morally he says he feels responsible.
“In cases where I have not been specifically asked to keep the car outside, I will pay at least half of the repair costs,” he said.
One of the customers already has an estimate for a fourteen hundred dollar repair.
Allen said he would feel more comfortable working in other parts of the state because of the crime in Jackson. However, if he moved his business, he said it would bother at least half of his customers.
Unfortunately, he said it wouldn’t take more than two or three incidents like this until he had no choice but to move out.
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