Submitted by Internal_Position_49 t3_y7olfg in baltimore

4:30 am next to John Hopkins university our catalytic converter was stolen by a white car with a black roof top just one week after getting it repaired is the city even trying to do anything for this I know Tampa Florida is letting people stamp the converters with vin numbers and are working with scrap yards as well to find people turning them in by bulk is baltimore trying to do anything to help fox this problem it’s getting out of control.



You must log in or register to comment.

Significant_Jump_21 t1_iswdehf wrote

I'm near the city county line. The county cops told us the scrap yards have to get driver license info from anyone selling metal. ESPECIALLY cat converters. They have to hold converters for 3 days. Cops check the scrap yards when someone files a stolen converter report. That's state law. CITY cops it's totally different. They dgaf. The city scrap yards don't hold converters. Cops don't follow up on the stolen converter reports. The county cops told us criminals are stealing converters out in Baltimore, Howard and AA county. Then bring them to the city scrap yards to sell.

My shop is on Wilkens near a scrap yard. I know the dudes at the scrap yard. They literally don't hold anything or ask for ID. City cops don't do anything about stolen stuff in the city. It's crazy.


Xanny t1_iswn3lm wrote

Abolish and reform the BPD, there is no way to salvage it.


goingtocalifornia__ t1_isxgoyu wrote

We’d all love that, but actually seeing it through will be like moving a mountain. I can’t even think of a precedent where that’s happened before.


sllewgh t1_isxi0q1 wrote

We wouldn't be the first. It's not such a radical new idea anymore.


InOnTheKillTaker t1_isxj098 wrote

I'll probably be ignored or downvoted, but to add to this, this is a great book. It is possible.

Edit: Changed link to a book I ACTUALLY read that I ACTUALLY meant to link. Sorry. I am sure the other book is fine, I just never read it lol


Ill-Consideration974 t1_isys0n8 wrote

Personally, I think the bigger issue are the citizens of this city. Some of them aren’t compatible with a civilized society. They’re the ones that need to be rehabbed or removed from society with longer sentences. Pretty obvious the laid back policing and tap on wrist policies of the judicial system aren’t making things better either.


Xanny t1_isytsya wrote

Thats tied into everything though. Corrupt af city government can't do social programs and tell the cops not to enforce law, corrupt cops don't enforce the laws they should, corrupt schools can't educate kids, etc.

If the BPD got reformed and the state prosecutor wasn't shit telling them not to prosecute violent crime they could at least get the dangerous off the street, its just gonna be expensive and ongoing, and there needs to be a multi-pronged approach to stop people from falling through societies cracks and ending up so messed up.


lincoln_hawks1 t1_isxlyhv wrote

What would that look like? And where would you get the staff?


Xanny t1_isyps53 wrote

Others have posted some good reading on the subject - but you basically abolish the current charter, rewrite it, and have the public vote on it. In the gap between the measure being passed and taking effect the city government gets the new structure in order before the charter switches over - you reinterview everyone, you rehire some portion of the existing force, and you do hiring for new staff all in advance of the switch.

Of course, BPD being BPD, they would flip a tit and possibly burn the city down before that happens, but thats kinda why it has to happen.

Part of it is going to probably require state and federal aid to train up new officers with a new academy and reformed training. This is probably something the city cannot do with just its own money. But the state of MD has been interested in varying regards of doing this for a long time because it hurts the entire state to have the largest economic center in the state have such a corrupt and broken police force. I'm pretty sure the state level could afford the transition, but federal funding might also be involved since its so close to DC.


lincoln_hawks1 t1_it04e87 wrote

Thanks for sharing this summary. Less radical than I was assuming. And BPD: terrible sons of bitches


TheCaptainDamnIt t1_isxn4al wrote

BPD don't give a fuck about crime, this city, anyone not a cop or anyone they don't know personally, hell they don't even care about just doing their job. They only thing they care about is that they are 'respected' and patted on the back by society just for their existence. And if they don't get that, they'll do even less of their job to 'punish' everyone else. We need to burn the whole department down and start over.


gothaggis t1_isxxf0v wrote

they care about fake overtime


EthanSayfo t1_isydcrc wrote

Was going to say this.

All they care about is being the macho boss of the neighborhood, and sucking as much of Baltimore's finances into their personal bank accounts as possible.

Worth watching HBO's We Own This City. I'd say it's "based" on a true story, but it really just is the true story, dramatized.


EntireAd9048 t1_isxy2r9 wrote

It's basically city policy not to prosecute or punish anyone for stealing (it's a "nonviolent" property crime), so are you surprised?

Even if they track some of the cat thieves down, you really think they're going to have money to pay fines? You really think the city is going to spend money to prosecute or incarcerate them?

Also, even if they hold things for 3 days... you realize that some more organized cat thief groups will just hold onto the cats for a month or two before scrapping them, right? Or they will scrap them in other jurisdictions entirely (western PA, small counties in VA, etc).

Because there's so little risk if you're actually caught, this will not stop anytime soon. But it's also worth noting that there is not a cat theft epidemic in areas that have active law enforcement (Harford, Carroll, etc).


todareistobmore t1_isz08te wrote

> areas that have active law enforcement (Harford, Carroll, etc).

Tfw you've convinced yourself that street parking, dense development and a comparatively high rate of target cars aren't factors, or would you say this is a considered opinion?


minominino t1_iszwu8y wrote

They’re being stolen all over PG county too. Which doesn’t surprise anybody, ofc


stormtatsu t1_isztuwy wrote

The problem with this is that a lot of the time they disassemble the cats themselves and melt the rare metals before trying to sell. So having all these regulations doesn’t do much.


Significant_Jump_21 t1_it0ypmq wrote

I live near MidAtlantic Metal in the county. The county scrap yards don't take converters the way the city yards do. I had a grill stolen from my city backyard. I tracked it down Wilkens to the city scrap yard. The county yard is 1/4 mile away. BUT they require ID. I'm not big government. BUT if the city enforced the law on scrapping we'd have less metal stolen. I can't even have metal patio furniture. Scrappers steal it in days. Sims and Decker accept trash cans full of stolen metal from addicts all day long. County scrap yards don't do that.


Good200000 t1_isvu3ou wrote

Time for a catalytic cage


epicwinguy101 t1_isw7tbz wrote

They don't really help. A few extra seconds to remove isn't much of a deterrent.


RighteousCookies t1_iswa8fo wrote

That's 100% what our insurance adjuster told us. They're a waste of time and money, plus once you have a converter stolen they will keep coming back if you park it in the same area. He told us he's had quite a few people in the area have their catalytic converters stolen a couple of times.


BlarghMachine t1_isz13y4 wrote

Cat protectors - namely cat shield for the gen 2 Prius - in my experience deter theft pretty well for the price. Cages don’t work bc they’re easier/faster to cut. A sheet of metal bolted in would require lots of sawing to get to the cat, more to cut it out. Takes too much time when they can just pick an easier target/ not get a bunch of sparks flying in their (likely unprotected) face.


neofresh t1_isw9wjx wrote

Cat cages are a deterrent. The cages is harder metal, generally harder than the circular blade the thieves are using. The thieve will move on to the softer target.


iamculby t1_iswd0or wrote

More than a few seconds, and the thieves are looking for convenience and speed. There are lots of with cats they could take. If they look under a car and see a shield, they’re going to find another car that’s easier to remove and doesn’t leave them in a vulnerable position doing something loud and obviously illegal for any longer than they have to. If someone was really committed to getting your exact cat they will get it shield or not, but most thieves are risk averse and would rather just try a different car


sciencesold t1_isydudk wrote

Depends on how they're made and attached. Something that just surrounds the cat and made of hardware store rebar? Not that effective but still a deterrent. Now if the cage itself is attached to the cat at a bunch of points, then attached to the car at an equal number of points, that can be pretty effective. Even better if it's made from something other than hardware store rebar.

Best bet is a literal box around the cat made of sheet steel, the thicker the better. They're likely using a sawzall, which will take multiple blades and a significant amount of time to get the cat out.


gaytee t1_isxnfxn wrote

Just blows my mind that we haven’t just made buying used cats illegal. This is clearly a problem for a ton of citizens and only benefits criminals and weird car parts recycling shops. If buying and selling used/stolen cats is THIS lucrative, it needs to be stopped with legislation that locks people up. If we do, in 10 years it’ll sound real stupid to be the guy whose doing 15-25 years for a stolen cat but that’s what it’s gonna take.


sciencesold t1_isycxyh wrote

Should be limited to like 1 every month or two, just so it's not worth it to steal them, but then when the cat in my old ass car goes out, I can still sell it to reduce my total cost for the new one.


gaytee t1_isz0mho wrote

The sale of old ones should be baked into the cost of new ones.

Anyone purchasing a cat by itself is likely replacing a broken or stolen one, we’re doing nothing to the criminals and the citizens are left footing the bill for repair.


EthanSayfo t1_isydnlf wrote

I'm sure there's no legislators in Baltimore and Maryland skimming off of illegal business operations they intentionally discourage the active policing of.

I mean, nothing even remotely like this has ever happened in Baltimore or the state before.




BlarghMachine t1_isz1jhr wrote

Besides smaller shops taking what they can get and it being hard to enforce - they melt them down and extract the valuable metal themselves now and sell that straight up. It’s not going to go away as a crime, unfortunately.


gaytee t1_it0vlrs wrote

Who are they selling the valuable metals to? That’s my point, that transaction shouldn’t exist, if we remove it, we remove stolen cats.


brocialism t1_iswiq3x wrote

Park next to an Odyssey or a Prius


Internal_Position_49 OP t1_isxjz6n wrote

That’s the problem I own a prius


BlarghMachine t1_isz1ayo wrote

Cat Shield is the way to go. Protected my gen 2 before it got a blown head gasket (don’t ask) and was in the mail when my other gen 2 had it stolen :( it’s enough of a deterrent to pass you up for an easier target.


stormtatsu t1_isztmx7 wrote

Is it an older Prius? The newest generation use fewer rare metals in the cat so aren’t hit as often.


andalusiterainbow t1_isxf0l1 wrote

So sorry to hear that. My partner and I both had ours stolen last week in Howard County. Once we get our cars back we are getting protective plates installed AND an alarm. It’s a little device you put on the cat. You have to activate it with a key fob like you lock your car. Once it’s activated, it will sound off if there’s any vibration near the cat. It’s super loud. Everyone says the anti theft stuff only slows them down, but I think waking up the whole neighborhood will probably make them think twice about taking that one lol. Anyway we haven’t tested our methods yet but I’d suggest getting two different anti theft mechanisms!


macmac360 t1_isxqpir wrote

It's a sad day when we have to put alarms on individual car parts but here we are, my gf lives near Hunt valley and the development she lives in has had numerous catalytic thefts


Melinated_Warrior t1_it8pfat wrote

What happens if a cat crawls underneath your car near the Catalytic Converter? Will the alarm spook the cat and pointlessly (hopefully) wake you as well?


[deleted] t1_iswggz8 wrote



MixmasterMatt t1_iswjpot wrote

You can. You think the BCPD are gonna do anything about it?


HosstownRodriguez t1_isx0d0f wrote

You cannot. Forget BPD. They could sue you in civil court if you did this and win damages.


Willothwisp2303 t1_isxk6nj wrote

Imagine asking the city residents who are beleaguered by cat thieves to give money to them.


brewtonone t1_isxe7wg wrote

You can sue if you get injured committing a crime?


AndChewBubblegum t1_isxgpc1 wrote

If it's the result of another crime that they can show you're responsible for? Absolutely.


mzm316 t1_isxuta3 wrote

I just don’t understand this at all. I mean I understand the legality, but why would it be a crime for you to put a theft deterrent on your own property? And if they sue you, can’t you sue back or something since you can also prove they were committing theft of your property? Or call the police since you have proof of the attempted crime? This just baffles me.


HosstownRodriguez t1_isxx3zp wrote

If the 'theft deterrent' has the intent to capture or injure someone, like a boob trap does, then it's illegal. IANAL, you can sue anyone for any reason you want, and you can always call the police, but you can't try to hurt someone for attempting to steal your property. If they sustain injuries, they can seek compensation for those damages in civil court. The podcast Criminal just did a great episode on this subject entitled Mantrap.


mzm316 t1_isxz25c wrote

Even if it’s non-lethal? Wow, that’s absolutely crazy.


HosstownRodriguez t1_isxztcd wrote

Well what sort of thing are you imagining as a non lethal booby trap? The big problem is usually it’s totally non discriminatory, and can go horribly wrong. For example it it’s a spray paint can attached to your undercarriage so if you think someone is stealing your converter it makes them…a ball rolls under your car and a kid goes to grab it and all of a sudden gets sprayed in the eye, that’s not good.


sciencesold t1_isyed9y wrote

You can if the booby trap doesn't cause harm to them. An alarm and/or something that inhibits them from running away would be perfectly legal.


UnaVidaMas t1_isy275c wrote

If they don’t make it out from under the car they can’t sue. Dead cat thieves tell no tales.


Rubysdad1975 t1_isw7laq wrote

Please get the catalytic converter cage. I had it installed on my Prius and the total cost was $300. Worth it, in my opinion.


lorena_rabbit t1_isyqrpg wrote

Where did you go? I was quoted a lot more than that plus 200$ for the shield itself


BlarghMachine t1_isz1zql wrote

For my gen 2 Prius I bought the shield online (maybe two years ago) for $169 (it was on sale) was only like under $100 in labor to get it out on at foreign auto experts in elkridge. Can’t remember the price it was cheap but I’m saying under $100 to overestimate


BlarghMachine t1_isz1ox7 wrote

Cat shield is $200 and install isn’t more than $100 - and they can’t be cut through like a cage as easily - unless you mean a shield and not a cage


Boneyard_Art t1_isvzk2q wrote

That's super unfortunate! Cat cages are pretty cheap online and sounds like it'd be a good investment for y'all.


sciencesold t1_isye5jf wrote

The ones you buy online aren't gonna be very effective, if at all, at preventing theft. Only a plate over the underside or a custom cage welded to the cat and frame will really be effective.


Similar_Coyote1104 t1_it04ugx wrote

This type of theft has been going on for a long time. Why haven’t manufacturers been required to offer cat theft protection as an option? Write your congressman…


ContinentalOp_RG t1_isy615m wrote

That sucks. Scumbags got me a couple of weeks ago. The only semi-saving grace is I'm in the process of trying to move out of the city (state and country). In Ireland now looking for a place. Obviously, that's not an option for most people so sorry to hear they got someone else.


Jawwaad127 t1_isx7mec wrote

Sorry to hear that it happened to you. Does insurance cover it and how do you it’s been stolen? Since this seems to be a big issue now, I’m wondering if car companies see this and are coming up with a solution.


andalusiterainbow t1_isxflvk wrote

Your car goes from a quiet, purring Prius to a monster truck lawnmower, so it’s pretty clear when it’s gone. Comprehensive insurance covers it, which I’d suggest. My partner and I would have spent thousands of dollars on repairs if we didn’t have it. It’s mostly Gen II Priuses that are targeted right now. It’s harder to steal from the newer cars, and/or they don’t have as much precious metals in them.


Jawwaad127 t1_isxg4hv wrote

Damn, I didn’t realize it costs that much to repair. Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate it


andalusiterainbow t1_isxn57v wrote

It’s possible the quote is too high, but there are other things that get damaged in the process. We’re just hoping the older Prius isn’t declared totaled because of it :(


theSuttyman t1_isxjtxc wrote

Damn! My Cat got jacked last week and my car’s in the shop today. If they get me for a second time I’ll be livid!!


therealmazi t1_isx75z7 wrote

Same person got you twice? 😒


Ihanad t1_isxnl5l wrote

How is one aware that it is missing? Debris next to car or maybe car sounds unusual? Thanks


jwalker3181 t1_isycvnz wrote

When they cut it out, the cut is before the mufflers so it's very loud.


sciencesold t1_isyeqrz wrote

Your car goes from the normal fairly quiet engine noise to incredibly fucking loud.


Ihanad t1_isyg0lx wrote

Thanks, seems like not gonna' miss that.🙂


sciencesold t1_isyg65u wrote

Yeah, I've had my exauhast break mid drive due to rust, it's really obvious.


superdreamcast64 t1_isydpd0 wrote

car sounds insane. it goes from being perfectly quiet to this extremely noisy lawnmower-esque sound. you’ll know if your cat got stolen as soon as you start it up


HedgemonyHog t1_isy31u7 wrote

I had my vin and “MD” welded onto mine the last time it was swiped. I asked, not so jokingly, about running a charge from the battery to it when I parked, like an electric fence—something to short out the saw zaw’s but got no response other than a laugh

Other tip I had was to try to park next to shorter/lower cars if you’re in a lot so they can’t just roll from one SUV to another…


theMoonHound t1_iszbj1a wrote

For $77 on Amazon I purchased a guard which goes on the bottom of my car over the catalytic converter to prevent theft. That's what I'm doing about catalytic converter theft as I have one of the most desirable converters on an older prius. I don't expect the cops to be standing next to my car all night, and I'm doing what I need to do to protect myself. I also lock my doors when I leave the house and I have some cameras. I did the math, and considering the deductible on my insurance, it was the cheaper option.


EthanSayfo t1_isycxug wrote

Active policing in Baltimore? These days? When no bodies are involved?

This is a joke post, right?


STLTriggerMan t1_isye0yt wrote

You need someone with a certain license to sell them. To avoid that some people make small forges and melt what they need. It all depends on the guy boosting them.


MyCatisaStripper t1_isypey6 wrote

Seems to be something people do to cars raised up they can get under. U driving a truck or something?


Similar_Coyote1104 t1_isys1rx wrote

Even dealing with scrap yards is tough because they’re getting the metals out themselves and just selling the metal.

Once it’s out of the converter the metal isn’t a catalytic converter any more.


only12moreninjas t1_iszoixa wrote

I work for a shop that has to replace these when they’re stolen. I work medium duty so it’s much easier to slide under and grab them real quick. This is a massive problem, I am replacing several every week


[deleted] t1_iswjqc8 wrote



Internal_Position_49 OP t1_isxk7xz wrote

Idk maybe read the post and see what I said how Florida is handling it I don’t expect them to stop the act of the crime I expect them to make it difficult for them to cash them in


sciencesold t1_isyf1as wrote

Not everyone has the option to do those and guns aren't an answer especially if you have to park in a garage or blocks away from your house on the street.