KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — UPDATE THURSDAY: An arrest has been made into the theft of catalytic converters in North Knoxville, according to East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers.
The agency tweeted out news of the arrest Thursday morning.
No further details including any possible charges or identification were released in the tweet.
WBIR will update this story as it develops further.
PREVIOUS STORY: The Knoxville Police Department said Tuesday they were searching for a man seen stealing catalytic converters from parked cars in North Knoxville.
He was seen on camera wearing a dark jacket and pants stealing converters from cars parked at 4333 North Broadway. He appeared to be White and balding, according to images released by police. Officials also said he appeared to have an accomplice with him in a white pickup truck with a black or dark-colored bed.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau said that in 2019, around 282 converters were stolen per month. Then, in 2020, they said the number jumped several times over to 1,203 per month.
A car driven without a catalytic converter will sound much louder than normal. Without one, cars also produce significantly more harmful emissions. Normally, they transform toxins into safer byproducts like water vapor.
Catalytic converters also contain trace amounts of precious metals such as palladium, platinum and rhodium. Officials said that an ounce of rhodium can sell for more than $27,000. So, thieves often steal converters to sell the metals inside.
Insurance experts recommend parking near people and cameras to prevent theft, especially if drivers have a large vehicle with an expensive converter.
Anyone with information about the man who police say stole converters should also contact East Tennessee Valley Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or by submitting a tip online. People can also send tips through their app, and police said all tipsters will be anonymous.