DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — Surveillance footage from a Ring camera captured a man stealing a catalytic converter early Tuesday morning at around 2 a.m. at the East Bay Apartments in Daphne.
The surveillance shows a man on the ground sawing off a car part while someone else holds a flashlight. The guy with the saw then gets up holding the part and the two run to a car where police say a third person was waiting. Police say this theft caught on camera was one of eight catalytic converter thefts in Daphne overnight. There was also five in Fairhope.
Heather DeAngelo, Daphne Police Department Public Information Officer, says Tuesday was a busy morning for officers.
“We got a couple of calls,” said DeAngelo. “Of course, the officers went out and started looking around, seeing what they could find, we had a few late morning calls as well, maybe late sleepers, or people that didn’t have to get up for work early for work, and they came out so we collected a couple more, so we figured out we had a problem,” DeAngelo said.
We spoke with a local mechanic and he told WKRG News 5 why these catalytic converters are so attractive to thieves,
Jake O’Neil, Owner/Mechanic of Precision Tune Auto Care in Daphne, says that these catalytic converters are valuable.
“Over time, chemicals build up in the catalytic converter, and what happens is, they turn into having the same elemental properties as platinum, and that is why people saw them off the vehicle because they can be worth between $100 to $300,” O’Neil said.
Daphne and Fairhope Police Departments are working together while investigate these thefts.
“There is a felony charge in the state of Alabama,” said DeAngelo. “They can be charged with if they are caught with it, not attached to a vehicle.”