LINCOLN–(KFOR Nov. 4)–If you go back over the past five years, catalytic converter thefts in Lincoln are at a new high. There were nine cases in all of 2016, but so far this year, there are 800. There were 274 in all of 2020. LPD worked with the City Council and scrap dealers to help create a new catalytic converter ordinance that requires anyone who wants to have that detached metal to apply for a $5 permit.
Assistant Chief Brian Jackson said thieves stealing catalytic converters is a crime of opportunity and officers are hoping to curb this crime. According to LPD, on average 80 catalytic converter thefts happen a month, which is roughly 2.63 per day. LPD reports that this crime costs $780,000 in loss or damage to Lincoln citizens year to date.
“This is not a Lincoln problem, this is a state of Nebraska problem, this is a Midwest problem, this is a United States problem. It’s happening all across the country and like many of these crimes, they are sometimes late to show their head here, well they’re here,” said Assistant Chief Jackson.
The new ordinance, that was approved by the Council in late September and took effect in mid-October, requires people to apply for and receive a special permit to buy and sell catalytic converters. Assistant Chief Jackson said the permit costs $5 and once someone has a permit, they can essentially sell, scrap or do anything they’d like with the catalytic converter.
Jackson said the permit includes opportunities for people who do not have a permit yet or have a work order. The permit is also good for a certain amount of time and will expire each year on July 31st.