LA PLATA, Md. (November 15, 2007)—Charles County Sheriffs Office detectives are searching for thieves who have been stealing catalytic converters from cars parked at commuter lots around the county since mid-July.
Police say the thieves stole about a dozen catalytic converters between July 14 to Nov. 14 from cars parked at the Smallwood Park and Ride, Shoppers World, and St. Charles Towne Center commuter lots in Waldorf and at Southern Maryland Auto Repair in Pomfret.
A catalytic converter is a component of a vehicle's emission system. It is responsible for reducing the amount of toxic exhaust that a vehicle emits into the atmosphere. One of the chemical conversions performed by the device is the transformation of highly toxic carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide.
Since catalytic converters typically require platinum in their manufacture, they can be quite expensive--ranging from several hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars on luxury vehicles.
Anyone with information about these thefts is asked to contact the Charles County Sheriffs Office Criminal Investigations Division at 301-609-6496 or the Property Crimes Unit at 301-609-6428. Det. J. McKenzie is investigating. Information can also be provided to Charles County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.
Anyone who observes suspicious activity is urged to contact the Sheriffs Office immediately at 301-932-2222 in La Plata, 301-743-2222 in Indian head or 301-932-7777 in Waldorf.