EMPORIA (KSNT) – The Emporia Police Department is looking for people who may be involved in a recent string of catalytic converters thefts.

A photo of one of the suspects in the recent catalytic converter thefts. (Photo Courtesy/Emporia Police Department)

According to the EPD, they have received several reports of stolen catalytic converters from vehicles parked in the western part of the city over the past two days. The police believe the thefts occurred Monday overnight and early Tuesday morning.

The thefts have occurred in the following parking lots:

  • USD-253 Bus Barn
  • John North Ford
  • Clint Bowyer Autoplex
  • Mel’s Tire
  • Furniture Loft
A photo of the suspect vehicle. (Photo Courtesy/ Emporia Police Department)

The suspects are believed to be driving a 2021 or 2022 Ford Escape.

To prevent thefts, the EPD recommends parking your vehicle in a garage. If you do not have access to a garage, park as close to your residence as possible and leave on an outside light. If you must park on the street, try to pick a well-lit spot with plenty of traffic. If you hear suspicious noises or see anything suspicious, contact the EPD immediately.

The catalytic converter is part of a vehicle’s exhaust system and is designed to reduce the emission of pollutants and toxic gas. They contain valuable precious metals and targeted by thieves to sell as scrap metal. Police say catalytic converters are attractive to thieves because they are easy to remove with battery-operated power tools, or even hand tools.

A diagram of where a catalytic converter is located on a car. (Photo Courtesy/Emporia Police Department)