MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — It appears thieves have their eye on an expensive car part in Madison County.
State Police tell LEX 18 there has been a four-day window where catalytic converters have been stolen from cars.
"They stole two vehicles straight from the lot," said Timothy Hadlock, a business owner. "One of the vehicles had a tracker on them and pinged each location they stopped at."
Hadlock says he has been in contact with Kentucky State Police about the stolen vehicles. He says when the vehicle was recovered, the catalytic converters had been cut off.
"It's not fair that you have to pay two to three grand for how expensive everything is now to fix your vehicle to get it back running right," he said.
State Police in Madison County confirm to LEX 18 there is a concerning trend troopers are dealing with. We're told they investigated Hadlock's report from Sunday, a report from Berea, and then another in Richmond. It's theft, but it's also costly for victims.
"With catalytic converter prices, it just depends on the model of the vehicle," Hadlock said. "The highest priced one so far is about $3500 with the O2 sensors. And the lowest price one is around $1800, two grand."
This is a growing, nationwide problem. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, there has been a more than one thousand percent increase in these thefts from 2018 to 2020.
"It's our livelihood and people are just taking from us. It's not right."