Friday, August 22, 2008

Catalytic converter thefts

Last November in The Chief's Corner, I noted that the thefts of catalytic converters was a growing trend in the United States, and one that hadn't been seen much in Lincoln yet. That appears to be changing this month. So far in 2008, we have had six cases reported; four of those during August. All but one of these thefts have occurred in the Northeast Team area:


Two of the cases were at automotive businesses: a salvage dealer and a used car lot. The other catalytic converters were removed from vehicles in parking lots. In at least one case, it appeared that a powered saw, such as a cordless reciprocating saw, was employed. We have an active investigation underway, and a suspect has been developed in one of these cases.

There was an informative article in USA Today a few weeks ago about this type of crime. The damage and loss from these thefts is large: the cost of replacing a catalytic converter can top $1,000. Hopefully we can minimize the number of these crimes.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would guess this is not etiquette for a blog. Some of the readers are following the plight of MJ, the young man who had his MySpace taken over after drug related chat was found.

MJ is now a tenant here at home, his own choosing. He pays room and board. Up to now everything was given to him FREE no questions asked. But we, as parents some way became the enemy. So now we are trying different approaches.

So here is a progress report.
Well MJ is doing well. Has a job with J'S Mom, guess that'll show us. He is not following the recommendations of the treatment team (not going to AA meetings) and thinks he knows better. Also claims he is not contacting AM. Do you believe that?
Also not finding new friends. Hangs with DS (old crew) But DS is a non-drinking non drugged friend(MJ says so)
I told him he is on his way back to drugs and alcohol without AA meetings and not having a sponsor. He says he does not "need" one because OJS has not required it as part of his 'conditions of liberty" (another words, treatment didn't work) it works if ya work it and want "IT" bad enough. Is MJ working "IT"?
I guess he still knows better than the treatment team. If I was as smart as him I would still be drinking. I guess stupid is a blessing when it comes to recovery.(that's a blessing)
KISS= keep it simple stupid (another AA motto) AA works for me (I do not attend meetings regular either) and Matt is not giving AA a fair try. His counselor says he does not need AA. (another surprise, are they on the same page?)


He is getting a cell phone from Mom in the mail from Scottsbluff. Also, opened checking account, all without permission (old behaviors?). I told him I have thrown in the towel about him asking first when he wants to get something new. I know he can do this on his own now. That, or else he will fall on his face again. BB is charging him rent now and also for all items he uses in the home. If he happens to ask first it is free. (part of being an adult I guess)

If he gets too far behind on bills i.e rent ect' I guess he might not get emancipated. I hope he shows he can do it!

That's all for this week. More next Thursday.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Good grief. Online scams, copper theft, armed robberies, and now catalytic converter thefts. I have a suggestion for those that would choose to make a living in crime: It is much easier to get a job and make a living the easy way. The retirement plan for crime is either prison or death. To me that would seem a much harder way to go about making a living.

Anonymous said...

re: 8:59 a.m. is there a history here? i musta missed something somewhere down the blog.

Anonymous said...

8:59
We don't need to hear anymore. Since we don't know who you are, we can't help. Your story is the same as many others in the city. Instead of venting on a police blog, try going to a counseling blog. It might work better.

Anonymous said...

My hunch is that LPD comes down like a ton of bricks on even a small rumor of any kind of chop shop or any sort of brick-and-mortar stolen auto parts operation. That's probably one big reason why there are so few full-bore auto thefts in this city; you'd likely have to run the the car up the road 50 miles and that's a lot of NSP cruisers to risk spotting you from their hot sheets.

If you discount exes with spare keys, kids that take mom's car, and ad hoc thefts due to the owner leaving the keys handy, we have almost no auto thefts here. Citizens always notice a lot of auto thefts, but few notice the absence of auto thefts. The dog that didn't bark in the night-time attracted little notice.

Tom Casady said...

All-

8:59 is way off-topic, but he's been a loyal reader from about day one, so he's got a little leeway from me to get some of this off his chest. If it helps to spill it out on my blog, so be it. He doesn't make a habit of it, so I'm letting it ride.

JJ: Lots of messed up 18 year olds turn into OK 28 year olds. Keep the faith.

Anonymous said...

Being a recycler myself, I can tell you that it would take alot of converters to make any kind of real money. I dont do the converters so I dont know how much a person can get so I may be way off point. I have payed for my salvage permit since the start and every time I take my little bit of what I collect in, I dont get enough to pay for the gas I used.

I am so suprised at how wastefull people in this town are. I work in garbage and see it everyday. For the average mo it makes no sence to cut the wire off the tv they just threw away but for the guys walking house to house it does.

On average, I collect 300 - 500 pounds of wire #2 insulated to be specific every two weeks. at $1.20 a pound, why not take advantage of the job I have. People waste so much that I dont have time to strip it down. It would be way to costly in time to strip it down. Granted I could make alot more for the same wire but I look at it as free money anyway.

I find it odd that some of the guys that work for me cant take their collections into the recycler for exchange because they have had some sort of run in with the law in the past. Shows that the permit thing is working. What I find weird though is that I have never had to show my permit to Alters but I have at Sadoff. I get a check after every submittal so where's the enforcement. Is this system working or is it just another ploy by the local govt. to generate revenue. What does the permit fees pay for? Who is really overseeing the system? Who get's the power to say who can sell collections to the recyclers and who cant? Why is the list of people on this list not public?

What is the amount of legit copper being sold to recyclers vs. stolen. Can LPD really put an amount on it or is LPD just stabbing at it hopeing to get lucky? As long as I have been scrapping, I dont think that LPD can get a hold on all of it but then again LPD cant get all the drive offs either.

I think LPD is doing a great job at keeping our streets safe and they have a tough time doing it as I listen to the scanner alot. Kudo's to LPD for atleast trying!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tom. I think that those that are/were not interested can simply scan read my posts and take what they need or want. I suspect that the poster is one of the friend/acquaintance of MJ, or someone that does know me personally. I have had two Officers that have told me they appreciate having my updates because they do care about my son and really helped in this mess of a situation. That is why I keep posting here. I think that counseling web blogs are a waste of time. I spend a large amount of time in private counseling and also am friends with a counselor that I have known for 40 years and I can call him any time. To: August 22, 2008 10:47 AM, I think that I would choose to not call someone as your self who is so against the content of people posting material like this. But once again there are readers that do like to know. Sorry to have wasted your time though, I am not at all hurt by it.
JJ

Anonymous said...

I first read MJ (anon 8:59) when the blog first started. The writer is not alone and it's hard to tell parents what to do next in this sort of situation. I always figure that you did what you could do for 18 or 19 years, then all you can do is hope they make it to the age that they realize what a pain in the butt they were and get back on track. I wish the best for MJ and his parents.

Anonymous said...

I have one more comment. After talking with my "sig other" she enlightened me that the reader I responded to may very well be right. Blog etiquette may be very important to that reader, and I have really gotten away from the etiquette that blogs have, I apologize for disturbing that reader if I have done so. As far as the help that August 22, 2008 10:47 AM believes I am looking for I must point out that I post for the reader that is up to date on all this and is also interested. I am not "looking" for help and I do not see "looking for help" in the writing I posted. I do welcome parenting suggestions and I also have some UNL classes I have taken in that area that help also. Many others in this city have similar stories. I think we part company with the parents that do not take a proactive approach. Most of our parenting style is proactive. We try to prevent problems prior to them happening, (prior to a dui,mip,ect.) Some parents approve of drugs and alcohol. I also guess that many seasoned Officers see this also. I think it becomes a communities' issue when "all the cool kids do it"
One final observation. The writer( 10:47 AM)says "We don't need to hear anymore. WE?
I wonder who or what has appointed you to speak for the entire blog. Or are you reading this together with someone else? The only other thing I can guess is dual personality? Thats All j@neb.

Anonymous said...

I don't think 8:59 is off topic at all. He is probably talking about what a lot of families are going through. The drug problem that exists in our city is probably the cause of a lot of the crime that does go on. If you are in a higher income bracket, you are not immune. Best of luck to you 8:59. Also, our prayers should go out to the police officer in Omaha who escaped death from multiple gunshot wounds. May the officers here in Lincoln stay safe.

Anonymous said...

It makes me sick to think that these gang member thugs go and fire at a police officer. I hope that they get more prison than the dope that shot the LPD Officer on
22nd Q st some years back. NO PAROLE should be on the list for this criminal. I do not even know who this person is and it really makes me angry. It is time to make the laws more severe when those that are willing to risk there own life for us are shot by a low life bottom feeder. I know it is not right, but a 'special ingrediant" should be sent this offenders way.

Anonymous said...

I have taken scrap metal to Alter several times in the past few months. They always ask for a fingerprint and picture I.D. before they cut my check. What more could be done to stop a thief?

Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

I might be wrong, but I'd imagine that the targeted vehicles generally had a lot of ground clearance. I used to have a 4x4 under which I could not only slide, but actually sit upright comfortably, and if it had catcons (which it did not), that would have been an easy rip. Cars that hug the ground, and make their owners cringe going over a speed bump, would be a tight fit.

Anonymous said...

10:11- The dope that shot the officer near 22nd & Q got 27-91yrs. If you are hoping for more than that, you might be wasting your time. In this day and age, thats a pretty good sentence.

Anonymous said...

Quick question chief...has LPD ever had a helicopter?...i know you will never get one because the city always has a tight budget...and you may not even think it is needed..just curious though if LPD ever had one?

Tom Casady said...

11:46-

Toyota Supra
Chevrolet Corsica
Isuzu Rodeo
Chevrolet Lumina
Ford Explorer

3:22-

We most certainly did. I spent a week during the Nebraska State Fair flying as the observer, which was both exhilarating and (at times) frightening. The pilot would have me take the controls while he lit up a smoke. Talk about sensitive! If you merely thought about the word "left," you dived in that direction.

Helicopters are a very expensive proposition. Acquisition is only part of the problem: the ongoing cost of staffing and maintenance is huge. I have nothing against helicopters, but it's way down the list on things we desperately need (which is topped by more officers.

Anonymous said...

Back in the days when street racing was on my Saturday night list of things to do, in the late 1960's and early 1970's, one of the sessions on 70th Street was rudely interrupted by the searchlight of a helicopter.I don't know if it was the State Patrol or LPD. Since I had not arrived at the party I missed all the excitement. Not that I ever did anything like that ;) . The statute of limitations is up? I hope!!

Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

The two tall ones make sense, but a couple of those seem like you'd have to slide an awfully bony meth-head underneath them to get at the catcon (or else jack them up).

Anonymous said...

i think that the dates on the helicopter timeline are off a little... no choppers at LPD in the early 80's that i'm aware of.

Two Guns said...

To Anon 9:00 AM. The helicopter I mentioned was probably the State Patrols. The incident I mentioned took place on 70th Street. It has been so long ago that I am fuzzy on the details but since I wasn't into street racing much after 1974 I am sure my time reference is close, give or take five years. LOL. I do know I will never forget the stampede of vehicles that left the area when the helicopter turned on the huge spotlight and lit up the area. I would have been in that stampede but I was late getting there. Sometimes being punctual is NOT a good thing.

Gun Nut