An email was sent to all students and faculty warning about a rise in recent catalytic converter thefts on campus on Tuesday, March 22, by University of St. Thomas Police Chief H.E Jenkins.
According to Jenkins, three thefts of catalytic converters have occurred at UST in the last month. Repairs are costly, ranging “anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 for some vehicles,” the email reads.
The email adds that similar thefts have been on the rise across the country, and thus “back order on these parts can be more than three months.”
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, there has been a 300% increase in catalytic converter thefts since 2019. Texas is ranked in the top five states where these thefts are most common. Jenkins says the converters contain precious metals, which can be stolen “in less than two minutes” from vehicles by thieves.
To prevent one’s catalytic converter from being stolen, Jenkins said students should park in well-lit areas and use the Moran parking center.
Moreover, students can also mark their catalytic converter with paint or engrave it with their license plate number, vehicle identification number, or the last four digits of their social security number.
Catalytic converter thefts should be reported to the UST Police Department at 713-525-3888.