Nearly 400 catalytic converter thefts reported across the Roanoke Valley in 2021

Thieves often sell the stolen parts at scrap yards or on the black market for up to $1,200, according to authorities

ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY, Va. – Check your car. Is it making a loud, harsh, throaty noise? If so, it might be because someone has stolen your catalytic converter.

While it might seem like a wild thing to happen to you, hundreds have been stolen in Southwest Virginia, according to authorities.

Police said thieves can steal the parts meant to convert air pollutants to less harmful gases in just minutes.

They often sell the stolen parts at scrap yards or on the black market for $300-$1,200, according to Lt. Donald Schley with the Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Office.

Here are some 2021 statistics from a few localities:

  • About 40 stolen in Rockbridge County
  • About 182 in the city of Roanoke
  • About 200 in Roanoke County. In 2020, there were less than five.

What are some good ways to avoid being a victim?

“Park it in a well-lit area. Look for surveillance cameras. Leave spacing around your vehicles, so your vehicle is more noticeable for passerby’s,” said Lt. Schley, who also emphasized the importance of reporting any suspicious activity.

About the Author

McKinley Strother joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2020. He anchors 10 News at 6 and 11 on Saturdays and Sundays and you'll also catch him reporting during the week.

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