As long as jobs exist, there'll always be people who flat-out don't want them and instead choose to be dirty, rotten thieves. Sadly, there's no shortage of them in this world, even here in Temple.

The Temple Police Department is warning of thieves who are targeting catalytic converters.

Temple PD's Public Relations Specialist Alejandra Arreguin reports that since the start of 2021, the department has investigated 26 cases of catalytic converter theft. The thing is, some of those cases involve multiple vehicles having been targeted at a single locations.

"The majority of the recent converters stolen are from commercial vehicles or larger pickup trucks, but suspects have targeted passenger vehicles as well," Arreguin said. "Most affected locations are businesses along or near Interstate 35 and Loop 363. Apartment complexes have also been targeted."

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Image Courtesy of Temple Police Department

One of the latest thefts happened on Thursday, March 11 near the 8200 block of South General Bruce Drive. Police have released a surveillance still of a vehicle believed to have been driven by the thieves, so if you recognize it or have any information that could help investigators, give Temple PD a call at (254) 298-5500.

You can also reach out to Bell County Crime Stoppers at (254) 526-TIPS (8477), bellcountycrimestoppers.com, or via the P3Tips app. Crime Stoppers won't ask for your name, and a tip leading to an arrest could net a cash reward of up to $1,000.

Thieves are after catalytic converters because they contain precious metals like copper and platinum. Thieves can easily remove the part in minutes with simple tools.

Temple PD recommends engraving your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on your catalytic converter to alert scrap dealers.

There are devices you can purchase to protect the part, or you can request to have it welded to your vehicle (thought that will make it much more difficult to remove when repairs are needed). Try parking in a garage whenever possible or in a well-lit area where thieves could easily be spotted.

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