SPOKANE, Wash. — As catalytic converter theft is on the rise across Washington state, a Spokane man's security camera captured just how easy it is for criminals to steal them in a matter of minutes.
Greg Thomas's home security camera captured a video of someone crawling under his car with a flashlight and a saw at 5 a.m. on Saturday. Moments later, the thief took off with Thomas's catalytic converter.
When Thomas's wife attempted to start the car later that morning, they instantly knew something was wrong.
"It sounded like someone was driving a rocketship down the street," Thomas said.
Then, he realized what had happened.
"The catalytic converter was gone," he said. "I got underneath and looked and sure enough."
Thomas said it will cost about $2,000 in repairs. In the meantime, he's borrowing a friend's truck.
"For the thief, it's easy," Thomas said. "It takes him a couple of minutes, but it's taken hours and hours of time for us."
Spokane police continue to investigate these crimes and have recently made two arrests from separate incidents. The department said it is making these arrests a priority.
In fact, buy-back facilities in Spokane like Action Recycling are increasingly working with police to identify people who attempt to sell stolen converters.
While police continue to crack down on these thefts, Thomas worries this could happen again to his family and others.
"Your senses are heightened because you don't know what a thief is going to do next," Thomas said. "It's insane. And I feel there's just no protection for the common man."