LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lincoln Police Department is asking for the community's help after close to 100 catalytic converters have been stolen from cars and RVs so far this year.
On Wednesday around 4:45 p.m., officers were dispatched to Leach Camper Sales on Cornhusker Highway in northeast Lincon, on a report of theft.
When responding officers got to the business, employees said unknown suspects cut off catalytic converters from eight campers. The loss totaling more than $9,000.
LPD said this is the second time in the last month that Leach Camper Sales had catalytic converters stolen from their RVs.
Officers processed the scene and reviewing surveillance video.
LPD said so far this year they've investigated 91 stolen catalytic converters, a loss totaling just under $35,000. Comparing this data to last year, officers said in 2019 there were 52 catalytic converters reported stolen.
There's no specific area of Lincoln that these suspects are targeting, as officers said it's happening city-wide.
LPD is asking the community to watch for people crawling or laying under cars, or lurking around cars and businesses after hours, as well as paying attention to the sound of battery-operated handsaws.
Investigators said these suspects are going to businesses and apartment complexes during the middle of the night, then they take the stolen catalytic converters to scrap shops to get money.
LPD said they've been alerting area scrap shops about the thefts and officers are increasing patrols.
Protecting your car
Suspects stealing catalytic converters are looking for cars in unattended areas, according to LPD.
Officers said the best way you can protect your car is by parking it in a driveway instead of the street, in a well lit area, or park near other cars in a high traffic area.
LPD said suspects are much less likely to crawl underneath a car if it's in a driveway, near a home, and use a saw to remove car parts because there are lights and ring doorbell cameras.
Investigators add that you should move your car frequently and make it more difficult for suspects to target your car.
If you know anything about this case, you're asked to call LPD at (402) 441-6000 or reach out to Crime Stoppers.