CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University Police are asking for the public’s help in solving a string of recent catalytic converter thefts from vehicles in and around campus.
According to an announcement posted on SUU Police Department’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts, five such thefts have been reported over the past couple months, with all of the target vehicles either being a Honda Accord or a Toyota Prius.
“It is highly likely that more thefts have occurred but have not yet been reported,” the post added.
SUU Police Chief Rick Brown told Cedar City News that although most drivers would likely notice a change in the sound and performance of their vehicle if it were to suddenly be missing its catalytic converter, it’s possible that additional thefts have been from cars that have been sitting in the same location for awhile.
Recently there have been five catalytic converter thefts. The target vehicles have been a Honda Accord or Toyota Prius. The suspect vehicle is a blue vehicle-possibly a 2018-2019 Toyota Camry. Please report any thefts and call us with information regarding these thefts. Thank you pic.twitter.com/kuD4ys8aJa
— SUU Police (@SUUPolice) December 29, 2020
All five known thefts occurred within a short distance from each other (see map for locations).
SUU Police released still frames from surveillance video footage taken from one of the locations. The photos show a blue suspect vehicle, believed to be a 2018 or 2019 Toyota Camry.
“They were caught on video (at one location) and are highly likely involved in the others because of the time frame,” Brown said.
Because catalytic converters contain precious metals such as platinum and palladium, they do have some resale value, typically in the hundreds of dollars.
“My guess is for scrap, or they could be reselling them to people installing them in cars,” Brown said, adding that police have been checking with automotive repair shops around town.
Because removing a catalytic converter typically requires getting underneath the vehicle with a metal saw or some other type of heavy duty cutting tool, Brown said people should watch for suspicious activity in and around parking lots.
“They might also notice stuff underneath their car, like metal scraps, and see something that doesn’t look right,” he said.
Anyone with information regarding the thefts is asked to call the SUU Police Department’s non-emergency number at 435-586-1911. To report tips via text, send “PD” plus the message to the number 32483.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.