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Catalytic converter theft causing problems for Colorado Springs business owner

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Joe Quinn owns a facility where small business owners park their work cars and store their equipment. Thieves targeted his lot a few weeks ago, leaving his customers to deal with the impact on their livelihoods.

"This is how they pay their bills, they feed their kids," Quinn said.

On January 7, two people entered the facility using a code they got from a tenant. They stole six catalytic converters from cars on the lot. "[It was] fortunate our cameras were able to track them, but of course, nobody watches the cameras all the time," Quinn said.

Quinn says it's not just about replacing the stolen parts, but the theft put his customers out of work, which cost them so much more than just their missing car parts.

“When you come steal a catalytic converter off one of our gutter guys' trucks you can’t go out and rent a truck with a $100,000 piece of equipment in it. He doesn’t go to work today," Quinn said.

Quinn reported the theft to Colorado Springs Police, but because it was a lower-priority property crime the report took a while to process.

“I understand they’re busy and their workload, you know, that’s just part of the deal,” Quinn said.

Some of his customers have gone on to replace their stolen parts, but one of his customers wasn't so lucky. “I think he may have ended up just junking the vehicle because to find it and replace it is thousands of dollars and so of course he ended up taking a major loss on it," Quinn said.

On March 11, police arrested one of the suspects who had several outstanding warrants for catalytic converter theft in addition to the theft at Quinn's business. The other suspect is still on the run. Colorado Springs Police report that this incident is part of a larger ring of catalytic converter thefts.

Right now, the Colorado Senate is considering a bill that would make it illegal to install, sell or advertise used catalytic converters. It would mean that people who stole catalytic converters would have a much harder time reselling them.

Article Topic Follows: El Paso County Crime

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Riley Carroll

Riley is a weekend anchor and reporter for KRDO. Learn more about her here.


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