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Catalytic converter thefts continue on campus 


Five more catalytic converters have been stolen across campus, totaling 16 catalytic converter thefts this semester.  

SUNY Brockport freshman William Goss went to turn his car on and noticed something was off. 

“When I went to start up my car, it was incredibly loud. I immediately knew something was wrong, so I went to go check my engine and couldn’t find anything, so I kept driving, thinking the noise would go away. When it didn’t, I thought it could be the catalytic converter,” Goss said. 

According to SUNY Brockport Chief of University Police (UP) Daniel Vasile, four of the recent thefts were from Hyundai vehicles. 

“We believe they were all removed between Oct. 14 and Oct. 16. Three of these occurred in Lot A and one occurred in Lot V1,” Vasile said. 

While Hondas in Lot V1 were the main source of thefts last month, Hyundais in Lot A seem to be the latest target. Out of the 16 total thefts this semester, eight occurred in Lot V1, five in Lot A, two in Lot Y and one in Lot X. 

Goss drives a 2001 Acura CL and was parked in Lot X when his catalytic converter was stolen. 

“They think it was stolen around Thursday morning, and conveniently the cameras were down, so they don’t actually know who stole it, which is interesting. There’s a whole federal investigation going on involving these catalytic converter thefts, so I think it could be a part of that,” Goss said. 

These thefts are not unique to Brockport. Catalytic converters contain precious metals such as palladium, platinum and rhodium, making them a popular target. According to Spectrum News, 1,154 catalytic converters have been stolen across Monroe County this year alone. 

The Department of Justice recently took down a nationwide catalytic converter theft ring that has been causing problems in at least nine states over the past few years. 21 people were arrested for allegedly selling millions of dollars’ worth of stolen catalytic converters, according to the Washington Examiner. 

Since catalytic converters are so expensive, they’re not easy to replace. 

“Roughly, it was about $1800 for the part alone. It hasn’t affected me that much financially; it’s more my parents, because they’re the ones who are paying for it. My dad was really annoyed about the whole situation,” Goss said. 

This incident has made Goss more anxious about where he parks his car. 

“I’m a lot more paranoid about my car, and I park it purposely right outside my dorm now. I keep looking at it occasionally to make sure no one is doing something to it, because I’ve never really gotten something stolen like that before,” Goss said. 

UP is currently working with the law enforcement community to find the individual(s) responsible.  

“We have not made an arrest or issued any warrants at this time. We are working with the law enforcement community to positively identify the individual or individuals responsible,” Vasile said. 

Vasile encourages the community to help in this investigation. 

“I’m again asking the campus community to call UP and report any suspicious cars or behaviors observed on campus,” Vasile said. 

Vasile recommends victims to contact the NYS Office of Victim Services and the Monroe County Victim Assistance Program. These students may be eligible for compensation regarding out-of-pocket losses.  

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Cambrie Eckert, News Editor
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