Police: Catalytic converters being sawed off, sold for cash

Thefts reported in Kutztown, Cumru and Spring

Police: Catalytic converters being...

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - This Valentine's Day, not everybody with precious metals got them from the jewelry store. Police said some guys in minivans are sawing off parts of cars and selling them for cash.

"We believe these happened, the ones in our town, happened in broad daylight," said Chief Craig Summers, Kutztown Borough Police Department.

Police said men are working together to climb underneath cars and steal catalytic converters. The cylinder-shaped part helps clean engine gasses and can be made from precious metals like platinum.

Police in Kutztown said the thefts happened in the areas of Bieber Square Apartments and Kutztown Manor Apartments. One Kutztown University student has already heard from a victim.

"I just knew a friend, his girlfriend, it was one of her friends, and I just heard about it a couple days ago, and it's a crappy situation for her," said sophomore Spencer Jones. "It's ridiculous, especially to college kids. We already struggle with money, so now it's just another thing on top, that sucks to do to somebody else."

"It's definitely a scary thought, because this is a small town, small college town community, and just to hear that people are getting taken advantage of like that, it's a scary thought," said freshman Joseph Egan.

Police in Spring and Cumru townships have also seen similar thefts. Kutztown police said a witness saw three men, but couldn't get a plate number on the van they were driving.

Anyone with information about the thefts can contact Crime Alert Berks County via anonymous text to 847411, starting the message with keyword alertberks, or by calling 877-373-9913. A cash reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.

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