Catalytic converter thefts up 150% over last year in Pasadena

Catalytic converters and their precious metals inside are an increasing target for thieves. So much so, area police departments are taking to social media to bring awareness to their communities. 

The Pasadena Police Department took to social media to spread awareness. They said catalytic converter thefts are up 150% compared to last year. 

RELATED: 2 arrested with stolen catalytic converters found in car after police chase in north Houston

Police say some precious metals inside are going for a few thousand dollars an ounce. 

"They go around stealing as many as they can, so that they can make as much money as they can," said Sgt. Raul Granados with Pasadena PD.

RELATED: 3 suspects captured, stolen catalytic converters found after chase: HCSO

Mechanics at River Oaks Firestone tell FOX 26, the theft is quick. 

"With a fully charged saw, it can be cut off in a minute and a half per side," said Robert Sanchez, Manager at River Oaks Firestone. "Right at the cut-off point, there is a sensor that can increase the cost."

RELATED: Catalytic converter thefts increasing in the Houston area

Jonathan Flores says thieves targeted his car twice and both times he was fortunate to catch them in the act. 

"I caught the people doing it the first time,'' said Flores. "And not too long ago, a few weeks ago, I saw another group of people in progress trying to do it again."

RELATED: HPD discovers hundreds of catalytic converters while responding to theft call

After thieves were able to cut one side of his converter the first time, Flores later purchased a cover, one of the options Pasadena police suggests. 

"If you have the alarm with a motion sensor, that’s a good one," said Granddads. There are kits that you can buy online that cover your converter, they can cut through them. But if a thief gets under your car and sees there are additional hurdles, they’re going to move on."