ALBANY — Thieves want what’s under your car.
Metal thieves have stolen enough catalytic converters to raise a warning flag for drivers, according to an Albany Police Department report.
“In the past month or two, thieves have been stealing catalytic converters out from under cars,” said police Investigator Tim Harvey. “We have made one arrest.”
As its stands, 34-year-old Scott Anderson is charged with criminal damage to property, but Harvey said the investigation could link him to other catalytic converter thefts and more serious charges.
“This is similar to air conditioner thefts,” Harvey said. “They can get $200 to $300 for the converter, but it costs $1,000 to fix the damage.”
Thefts have been reported at park-and-ride areas, from cars left parked or broken down on the Liberty Expressway and at the Albany Mall.
Police recommend parking in areas that are well-lighted, have traffic and are in surveillance camera range.
Police say drivers also should void parking behind trees and bushes. If a car breaks down, officials say, it is best to call a wrecker and have it moved. It becomes a target for thieves if left overnight.
Also, if a friend or family member asks to have a catalytic converter taken to a scrap dealer, Harvey added, be aware that if it is stolen charges can be made against anyone who had any possession of the converter.