TWO RIVERS, Wis. (WFRV) – There’s an on-going effort by law enforcement across the state of Wisconsin targeting a string of property crimes, and police say car thieves are going after one part in particular.
Lisa Matzke says on Valentine’s day that thieves stole her catalytic converter from her car. “Of all days. I went out to my car started it and it sounded horrible.”
The sound and the cutting tools left behind meant thieves stole the catalytic converter from Lisa’s car and she was shocked to learn there have been a string of thefts in her area.
“There’s three in Manitowoc a few in Sheboygan and I guess a bunch in the Fox Valley and this is the first one in Two Rivers,” shares Lisa.
Benjamin Meinnert, Two Rivers Assistant Police says, “This was an isolated incident here in Two Rivers. There have been area communities, surrounding area communities, and more than that.”
The Green Bay Police Department reports 32 catalytic converter thefts since June of 2020.
Meghan Cash with the Appleton Police Department says, “Thankfully we have not been seeing a rise in them. They still occasionally happen and we know it’s something that’s not only plaguing our community but the entire Fox Valley and probably the on the state.”
Meinnert says, “Normally the reason people are targeting catalytic converters is for the precious metals in them. They look to scrap them out for money.”
Local 5 reached out to several auto repair shops who say catalytic converters are worth a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Lisa is a disabled Army veteran and has to now rely on others for her transportation. To help Lisa, visit Lisa’s GoFundme page.
Meinnert says, ” Right now we have just an isolated incident but it is likely that it’s connected with other area communities and we are working with those other jurisdictions to try to identify the suspects.”
Police say there are simple ways you can protect your car like parking in areas with lots of lights and lots of people.