Catalytic converter thefts are on the rise in Omaha

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – An Omaha family is now without transportation after a much-needed part of their van was stolen – and it turns out they are not alone.

Dan Golden and his wife have five children. Your van is made only for the family so they can all get around town.

“We need a huge van to get anywhere. Two of them are in wheelchairs, so the van has a wheelchair lift in the back that we can use to get in and strap them in, ”said Golden.

When he started the van on Sunday, it made a loud noise. Its catalyst had been stolen.

“Shimmied under the van and suddenly noticed that there was a big gap where there should be something connecting something and suddenly there isn’t,” Golden said.

He took his van to Auto Tech near 84th and Miami. Owner Jeff Jenkins said over the past two months he has seen an increase in stolen catalytic converters.

Jenkins says he believes this van was targeted because it is high off the ground, making it easy for thieves to grab the piece quickly.

“Basically, this is exactly the right place here in this area. This one is gone. Nice, clean cut and they’ll probably be in and out of there in 60 seconds, ”he said.

Omaha police say the thieves are after the precious metal in the catalyst. They say 50 of the parts have been reported stolen in Omaha in the past 45 days.

Golden said he wished thieves would think twice about the people they influence.

“Without the van, they’re basically stuck here,” Golden said. “When there’s a medical emergency, instead of putting someone in the van and going to emergency care, we have to call an ambulance.”

The price of replacing these catalysts can add up for car owners. Depending on the make, model, and size of the car, it can cost anywhere from $ 1,000 to $ 3,500.

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