Arlington has seen an explosion in catalytic converter thefts over the past two years, according to updated stats from county police.
Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 3 of this year, 172 such thefts were reported to the Arlington County Police Department, according to a department spokesperson. That’s up more than 2,350% compared to the 7 catalytic converter thefts reported during the same time period in 2020.
ACPD says it investigated 43 converter thefts during that period in 2021.
At least five additional catalytic converters were stolen over the past few days, all from Toyota vehicles.
The thefts took place in the Aurora Highlands, Crystal City, Fairlington and Long Branch Creek neighborhoods, according to a crime report published by the police department and two additional reports obtained after inquiries from ARLnow.
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2022-10030077/10030095/10030126, 1900 block of S. Eads Street/4600 block of 36th Street S./2700 block of S. Uhle Street. At approximately 8:58 a.m. on October 3, police were dispatched to the late report of a larceny from auto. During the course of the investigation, it was determined three Toyota vehicles had their catalytic converters stolen during overnight hours. Additionally, an airbag was stolen from a Honda vehicle in the 4600 block of 36th Street S. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.
LARCENY FROM AUTO, 2022-10034003, 700 block of 19th Street S. Between approximately 5:55 p.m. on September 30 and 9:55 a.m. on October 3, a catalytic converter was stolen from a Toyota model vehicle.
LARCENY FROM AUTO, 2022-10034004, 1800 block of S. Grant Street. Between the evening of September 30 and 10:25 a.m. on October 3, a catalytic converter was stolen from a Toyota model vehicle.
The Toyota Prius is a particularly popular model for thieves to target.
“Priuses with model years 2004-2009 are top targets,” NBC 4 reported earlier this year. “Their catalytic converters contain precious metals that can bring up to $1,000 when resold. Repairing and replacing the catalytic converter runs more than $2,000.”
The thefts have continued throughout the year despite state legislation to toughen penalties and some recent arrests. Last month ARLnow reported on nearly a dozen catalytic converter thefts in various Arlington neighborhoods.
Police swarmed the Rosslyn neighborhood after an alleged thief led an officer on a brief foot pursuit.
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