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Increase in thefts of catalytic converters in Morris

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

MORRIS – The city of Morris has recently seen numerous thefts of catalytic converters and police are asking for the public’s assistance in catching the thieves.

From Oct. 14 to Monday, the Morris Police Department has received at least 14 reports of catalytic converter thefts, Morris Police Chief Brent Dite said. The thefts are classified as theft of motor vehicle parts or accessories.

A catalytic converter is a part of a car’s exhaust system.

“It is pretty expensive,” Dite said. “They could be selling them for scrap or selling them to auto mechanic places or junk yards.”

Catalytic converter theft is on the rise nation-wide, according to a news release from Morris police. Dite said locally it has been an issue in Ottawa, areas of Will County and in DuPage County.

The police believe the crimes happening in Morris are related.

The majority of the theft reports have been from the owners of Chevrolet Cavaliers and Pontiac vehicles that include the Sunfire and Grand Am.

“These vehicle designs make the catalytic converters easily accessible,” Dite said.

The thefts began in the Morris business district, but have moved into residential areas. Vehicles in parking lots for long periods of time are a target. A few of the incidents have occurred to vehicles at Elliott Manor senior citizen apartments.

The Morris Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance with the investigation, according to the news release. If anyone has witnessed these thefts occur they are asked to call the department.

In addition, the public is asked to be on the look out for suspicious activity, such as someone crawling underneath a vehicle in a parking lot.

Anyone with information that can assist with this investigation is asked to call Deputy Chief Harvey Van Cleave at 815-942-6504. If this crime has happened to you, call Morris police at 815-942-2131.

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