Chippewa Falls Police say catalytic converter thefts are increasing

Chippewa Falls Police Dept. Officer James Harper discusses a recent increase in catalytic...
Chippewa Falls Police Dept. Officer James Harper discusses a recent increase in catalytic converter thefts in the Chippewa Valley on July 16, 2021.(WEAU)
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 3:30 PM CDT
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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - The Chippewa Falls Police Dept. says catalytic converter thefts are increasing in the Chippewa Valley.

CFPD Officer James Harper says that they’ve taken multiple complaints on the issue throughout the year, including one recently.

In a Facebook post on Friday, the CFPD says it has has a suspect in ‘multiple crimes.’ An image showed a small blue hatchback vehicle with a rear wing spoiler.

Officer Harper says that to help avoid theft of catalytic converters, people should park near security cameras and in well-lit places. The act of taking a catalytic converter can happen very quickly, said Harper.

“We have seen them occur in under a minute,” Harper said. “All they have to do is get under the vehicle, make a few cuts using a power tool, and it is off.”

Harper says the thefts aren’t just occurring in Chippewa Falls, but all over the Chippewa Valley.

“We, along with other agencies, have been working together trying to piece them together,” Harper said.

Harper says it can also help to get your catalytic converter painted so it’s clear that it’s stolen in case a thief attempts to sell the part. The Eau Claire Police Dept. partnered with an Eau Claire auto shop to paint catalytic converters in May.

UW-Stout campus police noted earlier this year that catalytic converter thefts were on the rise in Menomonie.

Police say that if you see a theft, or any crime, in progress, to not approach the suspect. Instead, contact your local law enforcement agency.

Harper says if you have any information about the suspect in catalytic converter theft cases in Chippewa Falls, you’re asked to contact him at 715-723-4424 extension 3005, by email, or by private-messaging the CFPD on Facebook.

You may or may not be aware of the high level of catalytic converter thefts that have occurred throughout the area this...

Posted by Chippewa Falls Police Department on Friday, July 16, 2021

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