Car parts stolen from CWU parking lots – The Observer

Libby Williams

Students experienced tampered vehicles in CWU parking lots.

“Vehicle stalkers” are not only known to fly inside the car, but also underneath it.

Paije Maas, a professional and creative writing specialist and writer for PULSE magazine, said the catalytic converter in her Hyundai Santa Fe was stolen after she left the car in the parking lot during winter vacation.

“When I came back, I noticed that when I turned it on, a loud noise came out of it,” Maas said. “I was told it was probably just my muffler since my car is so old, but found out someone stole a part of it.”

According to CWU Police Chief Jason Berthon-Koch, the catalytic converter sits under the car and works to remove emissions from the exhaust. The converter also houses precious metals, which Berthon-Koch said prowlers can sell.

“When they steal the catalytic converters, they’re literally lying under the car with saws and sawn off,” Berthon-Koch said. “They are very fast.”

According to Berthon-Koch, depending on the car, installing a new catalytic converter can cost around $1,500, which insurance usually doesn’t cover.

Maas said she had to pay to replace hers.

“I’m still frustrated,” she said.

Maas said she tried to speak to parking services, but ultimately nothing came of the situation. She said she would like to see more surveillance in parking lots and around campus because she thinks it’s a growing problem.

“I wish there were cameras on campus, if not for car theft, for the safety of our students,” Maas said. “I heard after Christmas a ton of student cars were hit and it’s a growing problem.”

Berthon-Koch said while the goal is to eventually have cameras in parking lots, it will take some work.

“Our current camera project is coming to an end, and it was based more on the inside of campus,” Berthon-Koch said. “The problem with parking lots is that we currently don’t have the infrastructure to install cameras in parking lots because it takes data and energy to get there, and we don’t have the money or resources.”

He also said that while more cameras might help, he doesn’t think it will entirely solve the problem, especially since it’s not a campus-specific problem.

Berthon-Koch said that while this is something that happens everywhere, there are a few small steps you can take to prevent your car from being weathered.

“They sell shields to protect the catalytic converter so it can’t be easily cut,” Berthon-Koch said. “If you see something, say something…if it looks suspicious and someone is hanging around the cars looking, please call. Because you are not only protecting your business, but also your friends, other members of your community.

In addition to protecting your car’s exterior, Berthon-Koch said people should continue to protect valuables inside their car.

“Do not leave any valuables in sight inside the vehicle,” Berthon-Koch said. “Keep your vehicle locked. Don’t leave purses, wallets, laptops, books, or even backpacks in a vehicle. »

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