Catalytic converter thefts soaring in South Florida

The owner of Ted Conner Landscaping in Pompano Beach becomes one more victim of the thieves who are stealing catalytic converters from cars in South Florida.

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – 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 16 catalytic converters out of eight cars on Friday night. He valued the loss 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. That didn’t stop the two thieves who cut a hole in the fence and calmly walked into the property with tools in hand.

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.

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

Preventive strategies

  • Buy and install a cable locking device
  • Park in a secure garage

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About the Author:

Bridgette Matter joined the Local 10 News team as a reporter in July 2021. Before moving to South Florida, she began her career in South Bend, Indiana and spent six years in Jacksonville as a reporter and weekend anchor.