Increase In Catalytic Converter Theft Comes To Richland County


November 23, 2022 | View PDF

According to various news outlets such as CBS, NBC, ABC, and even the Wall Street Journal, catalytic converter thefts are on the rise nationwide. Recently, it has been hitting Richland County.

According to Richland County’s Undersheriff, Bob Burnison, a few oil field work trucks have lost their catalytic converters to theft just outside of Sidney. There have been a few reports of vehicles inside city limits having the part stolen as well. While converter thefts have been a problem in the area off and on for a while, these latest thefts have been within the last two to three months. The catalytic converter is part of a vehicle’s exhaust system so the sound can immediately alert drivers of the theft upon starting the vehicle. Stolen catalytic converters are usually sold for the rare metals inside them. The vehicles most prone to catalytic converter theft varies depending on where in the nation the thefts are occurring, but Undersheriff Burnison said, “The thieves here seem to go after pickup trucks, probably because they are fast and easy to get underneath.”

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s website,, the following things can be done to discourage or stop catalytic converter theft. A catalytic converter anti-theft device can be installed. These are available from various manufacturers and can provide some security from theft. Fleet trucks should be parked in an enclosed area that is secured, well-lighted, locked, and alarmed. Park personal vehicles in a garage or driveway, if possible. Consider installing motion sensor security lights. While lights may not provide complete security, some thieves may think twice, and opt to leave the area, and your car, untouched. Whether in the garage or outside in the driveway set the alarm on your vehicle if equipped. Ask your local mechanic or muffler shop if they can etch your vehicle’s VIN on the converter and spray it with highly visible high-heat paint. Doing so enables the NICB and law enforcement to track the converter which could lead to the arrest of catalytic converter thieves.

Report catalytic converter thefts to local law enforcement. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department and Sidney Police Department along with law enforcement around the county are trying to put an end to these thefts. The NICB advises drivers to contact their insurer to report catalytic converter thefts and determine what should be done for the vehicle.


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