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Woodburn Police alert residents that catalytic converter thefts have been on the rise locally and statewide

COURTESY PHOTO: WOODBURN POLICE DEPARTMENT - Woodburn Police shared images of suspects stealing or attempting to steal catalytic converters.Woodburn Police Department issued a notice to area residents that there are increasing reports involving catalytic converter thefts from vehicles.

WPD shared images of a recent theft and an attempt to steal the auto part, showing two different suspected vehicles involved. Spokesman Tommy Moore said one theft took place at around 5 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17. The suspect in the image appears to be an adult male wearing a baseball cap, brown shorts, a black sweatshirt in a dark blue four-door vehicle, possibly a BMW.

A second attempted theft was thwarted on Friday, Aug. 20, and the suspects fled the scene in a light-blue, four-door Honda Pilot SUV with body and paint damage on the passenger front quarter panel.COURTESY PHOTO: WOODBURN POLICE DEPARTMENT - Suspect vehicle show in an attempted theft of a catalytic converter.

Suspects in the second attempt are described as two white males and one white female adult.

Moore stressed that reports of catalytic converter thefts had increased statewide from several police agencies. Costs for replacing some catalytic converters for some vehicles can exceed $1,500.

WPD advises vehicle owners to always park in well-lit areas or in a garage when possible. In addition, engraving a vehicle identification number (VIN) on the part can make it easier to identify if stolen.

Oregon recently passed Senate Bill 803, which states that scrap metal businesses only purchase or receive catalytic converters from commercial sellers. That law goes into effect in January.

Anyone with information or recognition of the vehicles or suspects are urged to call the WPD non-emergency phone number at 503-982-2345.

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