Amarillo has been a hot bed for catalytic converter thieves.  It seems you see a new post everyday about how someone stole their catalytic converter.

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Just earlier this month Amarillo PD arrested two people from stealing catalytic converters.  Unfortunately for every two they arrest, 4 more thieves take their place.

These thieves are getting brave and stealing these items in broad daylight.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of seeing posts and videos of thieves stealing other peoples property.  I see at least one a day about a person having their catalytic converter stolen.

Is this ever going to stop?

Why are catalytic converters so valuable?

They contain precious metals including, rhodium, palladium, and platinum

I don't know about you, but I would love to have some platinum around my finger, neck or in my ears.  But really?  Platinum is used in catalytic converters?  Geez, no wonder cars are so expensive.

What's the point of a catalytic converter, and what does it do?

Let's go to an expert, since I haven't been underneath a car since my dad got out of the mechanic business.

YourMechanic.com says this about the catalytic converter:

The catalytic converter is an emissions related component that is mounted in the exhaust pipe. Its purpose is to superheat unburned particles in the exhaust gases that are expelled from the engine. As the engine runs, the catalytic converter warms up to an operating temperature of 500-1200 °F. At this temperature the particles in the ‘dirty’ exhaust are burned and converted into water vapor and carbon dioxide. The catalyst inside is nearly always comprised of precious metals such as platinum, rhodium, or palladium. When the catalyst isn’t able to burn off the unburned hydrocarbons in the exhaust, an unpleasant odor can occur, a rough run or misfire may be felt, or the Check Engine light may illuminate.

How Many Catalytic Converter thefts have taken place in Amarillo?

We reached out to Cpl. Jeb Hilton with the Amarillo Police Department and he told us:

In 2021 we saw 352 reports of catalytic converter thefts. So far in January of 2022 we have had 44 reports made. We did not start seeing a rise in these types of thefts until after the middle of the year last year.

What can we do to prevent catalytic converter thefts.

1. Install an anti-theft device on your catalytic converter
2. Install a tracker
3. Etch your license plate or VIN on your catalytic converter
4. Park in lighted areas (not that this is stopping them, since it's taking place in daylight hours)

The Amarillo Police Department also suggests:

Painting the catalytic converter with high-temperature paint or etching your VIN number into the part. Others have suggested welding some sort of steel cage over the piece to make access to it harder.

 

The Amarillo Police Department would suggest always parking in a well lit or busy area of a parking lot if you are out. If you have access to a garage at home, it is always safest to park your vehicle inside of it. The best thing we can all do to help ourselves and our neighbors is be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles and activity. Anyone who notices anything suspicious in their neighborhood should call the Amarillo Police Department at 378-3038 as soon as possible.

I saw a TikTok the other day where someone welded Theft on their catalytic converter, and other things. But, of course, I can't find the video or else I would share.

How much does a catalytic converter cost to replace?

The average cost to have your catalytic converter replaced is between $3000 and $5000.  It depends on the make and model of the car.

What specific cars are targeted the most?

Prius, Tacomas, Luxury cars and SUVs, large vans, buses, and trucks.

Hopefully this will help shine some light on how to keep your catalytic converters safe.

The 806's Strange & Screwed Up Crimes Of 2021.....So Far

It's 2021 and folks are making up for staying indoors and following the law all throughout 2020. This isn't always a good thing, though. There have been quite a few odd, wacky, and outright grotesque crimes committed in the Texas Panhandle this year so far.

From Friona to Lubbock, there's plenty of bad behavior on display throughout the 806 in 2021.

Take a look at what these hellions have gotten themselves into:

Amarillo's Most Wanted: Help Bring These Fugitives to Justice

These are the fugitives who make up Amarillo's Most Wanted list. The individuals on this list have been accused of serious crimes and are considered a danger to society.

If you have any information about these FUGITIVES, you are urged to call Amarillo Crime Stoppers at (806) 374-4400 or submit a Web Tip by visiting THIS LINK

NEVER TRY TO DETAIN THE FUGITIVE YOURSELF!

You do not have to give your name. AMARILLO CRIME STOPPERS will pay a reward of up to $300 and you WILL remain anonymous. 

Updated as of 1/20/2022

Amarillo Murders in 2021

With an official tally of 27 murders, the year 2021 saw the highest number of homicides in Amarillo since 1994.

Below is a closer look at the year's criminal acts that resulted in life lost.

**Note from the Editor: The following is not an exhaustive list. We have compiled what you see below from news reports, official police statements, along with where the case stands in the court system. If you see any errors in reporting or fact, please email the editor directly at sarah.clark@townsquaremedia.com along with any supporting documents.

We wish to stress that all individuals charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

***Not pictured: Edward Matthew Gamez