Nutley experiencing another uptick in catalytic-converter thefts, PD says

Nutley Police Director Alphonse Petracco and Chief Thomas Strumolo are again advising residents of an uptick in catalytic converter thefts (part of a vehicle’s exhaust system that helps reduce pollution).

Strumolo said early the morning of July 14, 2023, the Nutley had a theft of a catalytic converter off a Honda Odyssey on Centre Street.  On July 8, the township had three reported, including on River Road, Park Avenue and Fernwood.

There is no one target vehicle; however buses, Ford vans, Hondas, Jeeps and Chevy Silverados appear to be the most common. The entire state is experiencing a rise in thefts due to limited supplies of precious metals.

“Thieves drive around looking for cars parked in hidden, dimly lit areas,” the Nutley PD said. “They exit their vehicle, usually at night or early morning, with a jack and cordless saw and within seconds, lift the car and cut the exhaust pipe on each side of the converter. Buses and work vans are easier to slide under and do not need to be lifted.”

Petracco said the Nutley PD has increased patrol and directed officers to make checks in target areas.

“I continue to urge residents to lock their car doors, remove valuables, and safeguard their property,” Petracco said.

There are several other precautions residents may take to limit car thefts, including installing car theft devices, keeping vehicles in well-lit areas, installing motion lighting and camera systems, and never leaving key fobs inside vehicles.

Residents who witness anyone acting suspiciously should ring 911 or (973) 284-4940.

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