Summer increase in catalytic converter thefts in Frankfort

By: Jerrika Insco Email
By: Jerrika Insco Email

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Police in Frankfort have a warning. Over the summer, police tell us they've seen an increase in catalytic converter thefts.

Police have investigated at least 14 reported thefts since May with parking lots at Walmart and Lowe's being the main targets.

Imagine walking out of the hospital, getting into your car, and soon realizing something is wrong with your vehicle. You might know right away what's wrong, but it might take a mechanic telling you that your catalytic converter is missing.

Police say they are even surprised, explaining that these thieves in Frankfort are brave, snatching catalytic converters from vehicles in broad daylight. In a matter of minutes, your vehicle could be stripped of this device, costing you hundreds or even thousands. Police say it's a financial type of crime with easy gain for its thieves.

Frankfort police tell us of the 14 cases reported this summer half of those were just last month. Any highly populated parking lots, like Walmart, Lowes, and the local hospital, are being targeted. This surveillance video caught thieves in the act at the Frankfort Regional Medical Center's parking lot.

"They actually back up into the space beside the vehicle they are targeting," said Captain Rob Warfel, with the Frankfort Police Department. "And the passenger kind of slips out of the vehicle, slides under the victim's vehicle, cuts out the device, and then slips in over into their vehicle."

For now, Frankfort Police haven't made a definite connection between the thefts this summer but also haven't ruled out the possibility that the same people could be responsible for all 14. They are still searching for suspects.

Police also say this crime is easily unnoticed, so they think several of these thefts have gone unreported.

If you see anything suspicious in a parking lot, like someone underneath a vehicle, don't hesitate to call the Frankfort Police Department at (502) 875-8523.

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