Police searching for thief stealing parts from cars


Mount Pleasant and Central Michigan University Police suspect an increase in larcenies involving catalytic converters are the work of the same person or persons.

Catalytic converters are an emission control device meant to reduce the amount of carbon fuels released by vehicles. They’ve been required for all vehicles by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency since 1975.

Since Jan. 7 there have been four reports of larceny in which the catalytic converter was removed from vehicles.

The first happened near the Dow Science Building before the start of the spring semester. Two more victims reported their converters missing at Northwest Apartments. The cars were a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire and a 2003 Chevy, both owned by 18-year-old men.

A fourth larceny was reported Feb. 9, also near Northwest Apartments. Lt. Cameron Wassman of CMUPD said police believe the incident happened at the same time as the others, but wasn’t noticed right away.

Officer Jeff Browne of MPPD said the thefts at CMU were similar to larcenies around town. The thief is suspected to be using a reciprocating saw, making two cuts to the metal to remove the converter.

Browne said he was surprised to see so many larcenies of catalytic converters at this time. He said before, they could be sold for around $80, but demand has fallen recently.

CMU police are reaching out to other law enforcement agencies to see if there have been similar robberies and increasing surveillance on campus for similar incidents, Wassman said.