Thefts Of a Certain Vehicle Part Are On The Rise In Missoula
It's a sad world when it comes to stuff like this. I have the Nextdoor app on my phone and I saw the other day where somebody had posted about the catalytic converter being stolen from their vehicle overnight here in Missoula. I knew exactly what they were talking about and how much of a pain it is.
Flashback to about 2004 or so and I had the same thing happen to me. As I was livin' it up at a Randy Travis concert and most likely losing a chunk of my paycheck at the casino where the concert was held - little did I know that some lowdown thieves were up to no good out in the parking lot. At the end of the night I went to fire up my truck and was immediately freaked out by the unexpected noise that was coming from somewhere in the bowels of my vehicle.
I had no idea what was happening - just that something was wrong with the exhaust system of my truck and it was loud. We're talking ANNOYINGLY LOUD!! It was actually downright embarrassing to drive because of how loud it was. I could feel the eyes upon me for the next day or so as I was in traffic. I took it to the shop and they explained how catalytic converters were targeted because of the valuable metal inside of them. Since I'm not a big car guy that was also the day I learned what a catalytic converter was. Ha!
So when I saw someone post their situation on the app it made me think about how much it sucks to have that happen. Now I'm seeing a story from NBC MONTANA that says there's been a "rash of people" that have had it happen to them and if anybody has information about suspects they're encouraged to contact MPD.
The NBC MONTANA article also shares the following tips to help avoid having your vehicle targeted:
- When possible, park in well-lit areas and close to building entrances.
- If you have a garage at your house, park your car inside and keep the garage door shut.
- Have the catalytic converter welded to your car's frame, which may make it harder to steal.
- Consider engraving your vehicle identification number (VIN) on the catalytic converter — this may help alert a scrap dealer that it was stolen and make it easier to identify the owner.
- Calibrate your car's alarm to set off when it detects vibration.
- Put unique identifying features on your catalytic converter which may alert scrap metal dealers this may be stolen
- There are aftermarket parts that can be installed to protect the catalytic converters from being stolen
Be on the lookout for anything that seems shady when it comes to vehicles in your neighborhood. And here's to hoping it doesn't happen to you!
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