Catalytic Converters Stolen In Bell County

By: Amanda Price Email
By: Amanda Price Email

Officials at a Bell County car dealership found catalytic converters stolen from one dozen vehicles last week and police are saying they're seeing crimes like this more and more.

It seemed like a normal Monday morning.

Steve Bailey, General Manager of Lee Motors in Bell County says, “I come in Monday morning and just you know went out to start of the cars like we routinely do, to move them around, rearrange the lot. Started up one and vroom, real loud noise and we knew immediately what it is.”

The catalytic converter was stolen. Employees checked the entire lot and found 12 cars with stolen converters.

Bailey says this part can cost anywhere from 500 to over a thousand dollars. When thieves take them to a scrap metal yard, they're getting 150 at best.

Bruce Bennett, Sheriff of Bell County says, “The price of those things is very very high. The precious metal they're made from is very in demand.”

Police say the thief or thieves used an electric saw, costing Lee Motors about 15,000 dollars in damages.

Bailey says, “Hopefully they don't do any other damage when they're up underneath there. They may cut a brake line, they may cut something else. You hope that they don't, but you have to check everything. You have to completely go through the whole vehicle once it's been vandalized because you don't know.”

Now the dealership has an armed guard. Bailey says, “You know it's a sad day in time with the economy the way that it's come down too and I really think it's going to get worse before it gets better, people better lock their doors. You know our little county, our mom and pops sleep with the door unlocked but you can't do that anymore.”

So far police have not made any arrests.

Police say it's important that scrap metal companies require photo ID from sellers to help track down thieves.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Sarah Location: Harlan on Oct 6, 2008 at 06:02 AM
    drugs,thugs and republican policies are to blame.
  • by James Location: Magoffin Co. on Oct 6, 2008 at 05:47 AM
    Theives are the lowest slime we have around here, they make things so hard for everyone else! It seems to me that the state law makers could devise a bill or have a law put into force where scrap yards would not be able to buy used catalytic converters unless seller shows proper ID, signs a written statement that the items are his/hers to sell and then agrees to a two week clearance period before payment can be made on the converters to prove the items weren't stolen. Anyone caught stealing these items should have to pay thrice, 1. to the owner they stole from, 2. to the law officals for having the trouble of processing their cases then 3. spend some hefty time behind bars to learn ethics as well!
  • by Gramby on Oct 6, 2008 at 03:15 AM
    thanks to McCain/Bush the economy is growing thieves like crazy...
  • by KR on Oct 5, 2008 at 10:46 PM
    If police would start arresting these scrap metal dealers that buy this stuff...mostly knowing it's would cut down a lot on this sort of crime. Going after just the ones who cut them off cars isn't gonna stop it. Go for the ones that will be hurt the most by it, and soon the petty thieves will be out of business since they won't have a place to sell their goods.


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