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Omaha Police make arrests in connection to catalytic converter thefts

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Posted at 4:54 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 11:19:33-05

UPDATE 2/10/21:
The Omaha Police Department (OPD) announced two arrests made in connection to catalytic converter thefts on Wednesday.

OPD's Auto Theft Unit has done extensive follow up on the recent trend of catalytic converter thefts, according to authorities.

Investigative tools and techniques were used to track the location of the theft to the sale of the catalytic converters.

Thirty-one-year-old Samuel Tague and 41-year-old Christian Isla were both booked into Douglas County Corrections for their alleged involvement.

Omaha Police say additional investigation and arrests are anticipated.

Omaha Police are warning of an increase in catalytic converter thefts.

Police said thieves have been targeting domestic trucks, fleet vans and other vehicles with a higher ground clearance because that makes the parts easier to access.

Police said recent reports indicate certain foreign vehicle models are specifically being targeted because they have catalytic converters that contain a higher percentage of precious medals.

According to police, catalytic converters are being targeted because of the rise in the value of the precious metals contained inside of them.

Police offered several tips to try and prevent catalytic converter thefts:

  • Park your vehicle inside a secure garage, secured yard, or parked in a way to prevent access to the undercarriage (especially for fleet vehicles).
  • If parking in a driveway, be sure to have motion lights or continuous lights illuminating your driveway as a deterrent.
  • If available, be sure to park in areas that are covered by video surveillance.
  • A car alarm equipped with a vehicle motion detector will also be helpful.
  • Mark or engrave your vehicle’s catalytic converter with the vehicle license plate or VIN number, or with brightly colored, high-temperature paint. This will help law enforcement track a converter back to your vehicle in the event of a theft.
  • Check with your insurance company regarding catalytic converter theft as many insurance companies do cover such a theft under comprehensive coverage plans, as the catalytic converter is an OEM vehicle part.
  • There are also several options for anti-theft devices from companies such as the “CatClamp” and “CatStrap” that offer devices that surround or bolt onto the converters, or there are covers and shield type devices from “Cat Security” and various others, that are made for specific vehicle models and bolt in place, protecting the catalytic converter.
  • If suspicious activity or crimes in progress are seen, be sure to call 911 immediately. If your catalytic converter is stolen, you will know as soon as the vehicle is started, as it will sound like there’s no muffler at all. It is still ok to drive your vehicle directly to a muffler shop/dealership for repairs. If possible take photos of the damages prior to repairing the vehicle.

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