ABBEVILLE, La. (KLFY) Abbeville Police are investigating the increase of catalytic converters thefts stolen from the personal vehicles of some offshore workers.

According to police, it happened at the Chris Crusta Memorial Airport.

“It takes everybody to solve crime nowadays. It’s not just a police department problem. It’s not just a people problem. It’s everybody’s problem,” Chief Mike Hardy said.

“Some of these guys go offshore for two weeks at a time, some for even longer. We have to really just catch them in the act over there to be able to do something about it.”

Hardy said over several days, they learned as the crews come in from offshore, they would travel to their vehicles, and when they started it up, noticed that their converters had been stolen. He said the theft is either happening before dawn or during the late-night hours.  

“Thieves can slide under, cut the catalytic converter, and be out in less than a minute. So that’s quick money.” 

Public data company Been Verified found that nationwide last year, there was 540% higher theft of catalytic converters than in all of 2020. 

National Insurance Crime Bureau reports said car owners pay $1,500 to $5,000 to replace a catalytic converter. 

“These converters have rare materials like titanium, and all kinds of rare minerals in them, so they’re very expensive. I imagine they range from $1,000 to $3,000 apiece. I’m not sure of the exact value because different vehicles will have different price converters on them,” Hardy said.  

Harday says it is important for people to report any type of theft to law enforcement.

“Someone may come across several catalytic converters in a pickup truck, in a car, the trunk of a car. If they see someone with multiple catalytic converters, it’s probably stolen catalytic converters because there’s a market for them. People will pay high dollars for them, but it’s also monitored. I mean, anything that these savage yards buy it’s supposed to be monitored and logged and I’m not sure that they are doing that.”

News 10 reached out to Mike Mouton, the manager of Vector Aviation.

Mouton did not wish to comment.