Catalytic converter thefts jump in Alpharetta

Alpharetta Department of Public Safety officials said an increase in catalytic converter thefts has been reported over the past few days, mainly at night.

Authorities said the converters, which are designed to convert motor vehicle pollution gases into less harmful emissions contain platinum, making them a tempting target for thieves. The pilferers only get about $50 for converters when selling them to a scrap yard, but a theft can cause $1000-$4000 in damage to a vehicle, with deductibles ranging from $250 to $500 depending on auto policy.

Law officers are trying to locate the thieves and are asking residents for information and to report suspicious activity such as someone under a car in a parking lot. The department's main number is 678-297-6306.

Alpharetta police reports show converters were swiped from two Hondas in a neighborhood off Windward Parkway just east of Ga. 400 early Thursday.