Charlotte County has seen an increase in the theft of catalytic converters, which are exhaust emission control devices found in cars and other vehicles. They are often stolen because they are lined with precious metals like platinum and rhodium.
Large vehicles such as box trucks are typically targeted because they are parked overnight in large parking lots — but it can also happen to small, personal cars.
In the past two weeks, there have been five incidents of this crime and 10 catalytic converters stolen, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.
“These types of crimes are usually committed in early morning hours, so that’s why it’s very important for the community to be vigilant,” Charlotte County Sheriff Bill Prummell said in a statement. “You guys are the experts on what’s normal within your neighborhood and we encourage you to report suspicious activity. We would rather arrive at a scene to find nothing than miss the opportunity to catch somebody in the act.”
CCSO advised to park in your garage, if possible, and to stay vigilant.
Another trend on the rise in Charlotte County is the theft of Minn Kota trolling motors on boats. The motor’s quick release models make it easier for boat owners to remove, but also makes it easier for people to remove and steal them.