Businesses hit with catalytic converter theft

Published: May. 9, 2023 at 6:12 PM CDT|Updated: May. 9, 2023 at 6:34 PM CDT
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HARDY, Ark. (KAIT) - Catalytic converter thefts across the United States are reportedly at record highs, according to a study by BeenVerified.

A business near Hardy said it has seen eight catalytic converters stolen this year.

Rocky’s Auto and Spring River Camp and Canoe on Highway 63, north of Hardy, said three customer’s cars and five canoe-hauling vans had been vandalized.

Whether it be eight catalytic converters or only one, it can create financial hardship when they come up missing.

“It hurts because it takes your profit out of it. You have to turn around and replace that stuff. On my canoe vans, to get them up and going this year, I had to spend about $3,000 on each one of them just to replace the converters,” said Rock McCollum, Owner of Rocky’s Auto and Spring River Camp and Canoe.

McCollum said this isn’t the first time catalytic converters were stolen off his property, but this is the most at once.

“We’ve been hit hard lately. We called the law and had some reported stolen on all my canoe vans. I own Spring River Camp and Canoe too. Five vans. They stole all of them,” McCollum explained. “After we done the report and all, I had three customers’ vehicles that were stolen off of.”

He believes there is a motive behind the recent thefts at his businesses.

“I think a lot of it is the drug situation around here. So many people on drugs and stuff, they’re stealing them off to sell them and get money because the catalytic converter is high dollar now,” McCollum said.

With the thefts, McCollum was forced to install additional security measures.

“I’ve got camera systems set up now. I live right behind the place, so that helps too. I think the last time we were gone for the weekend, and when we came back, that’s when everything had happened.”

McCollum filed a report with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.

Despite the vandalism, McCollum explained that his vans are ready to go for the upcoming river season.