Catalytic converter thefts soaring in South Florida

The owner of Ted Conner Landscaping in Pompano Beach said the crime happened fast.

It only took one minute for a thief to crawl under a car and saw off its catalytic converter, a round canister that connects two pieces of piping in the exhaust.

Jason Conner said he lost eight catalytic converters on Friday night valued at about $32,000.

“They took a Sawzall cut … the unit dropped and took off with it,” Conner said.

The property has more than 20 surveillance cameras. It didn’t stop the two thieves who cut a hole in the fence and calmly walked into the property with tools in hand.

The two worked as a team. One of them focused on cutting the catalytic converters and the other on collecting them.

It’s a problem nationwide. Earlier this year, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported catalytic converter theft insurance claims jumped from $3,389 in 2019 to $14,433 in 2020.

Conner reported the thefts to the police and he hopes his surveillance video will help lead to an arrest. He said other businesses in the area were also hit in the last few weeks.

“This feels very violating,” Conner said.

Conner is asking anyone with information to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.

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