LOCAL NEWS

Thieves Steal Catalytic Converters From Animal Society’s Vans

Apr 8, 2021, 11:52 PM | Updated: Apr 9, 2021, 12:05 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Best Friends Animal Society is asking for the public’s help to find the people who stole catalytic converters from two of their vans, a costly crime that police departments across the nation are dealing with.

It’s easy to find friends inside a place called Best Friends. But ten years working at the animal society has taught Ashley Wing Murphey that finding friends outside of their building can sometimes be more of a challenge.

“We have had parts stolen off of our cars before,” Murphey said. “We were just so upset they would steal from a nonprofit organization. We’re already running off of donations from the public.”

It happened early Wednesday morning. One of Murphey’s volunteers came out to start the van and noticed something was off. They soon discovered the catalytic converter was missing from not one but two of their vans. The same vans volunteers have used over the past year to drop off more than 35,000 pounds of dog and cat food to low-income pet owners for their meals-on-wheels program. The same transports they use to rescue animals that might otherwise be put down.

“We do so much for community,” Murphey said. “And then to be delayed. To not accomplish the work of the day…it’s just very discouraging.”

A surveillance camera on the animal society’s building captured the crime. You can see a driver in a red pick-up truck pull up and drop a person off behind their building in the back parking lot next to the vans. The driver of a white pick-up truck pulls up later. And for the next couple of hours two people work to remove the catalytic converters.

NBC and other outlets report catalytic converter thefts have shot up across the country. The reason is because there are precious metals that can bring a big buck on the black market. One of those metals is Rhodium. It’s up 800 percent since March to nearly 20 thousand dollars an ounce.

For Best Friends, a non-profit organization that relies on donations, the missing converters means paying big price to replace them The organization is also working to secure lock cases for its vehicles that would prevent anyone from stealing them.

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Thieves Steal Catalytic Converters From Animal Society’s Vans