Rental car business experiencing multiple catalytic converter thefts

A local business is the target of multiple catalytic converter thefts.
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 3:57 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT TWP., Mich. (WNEM)- A local business is the target of multiple catalytic converter thefts.

Now the manager of Lease and Leave in Bridgeport Township is speaking out. He is armed with footage of the crime.

It was the excessively loud engine start that alerted one of Henry McKinney’s employees to the problem.

“It’s real annoying. Especially when you have to pay almost $5,000 to $6,000 to try to replace catalytic converters,” McKinney said.

McKinney runs Lease and Leave, a car rental service, formerly Butterfield’s Used Cars.

On March 5 about 7 a.m. at Lease and Leave, located at 4758 Dixie Hwy, multiple catalytic converters were cut from four vehicles and taken from the scene, according to the Bridgeport Township Police Department. Surveillance video shows a male jacking up the vehicles to cut off and take the converters. McKinney said this was the third time in about a year catalytic converters were cut off his vehicles.

Surveillance video at Lease and Leave captured a suspect stealing multiple catalytic converters.

Bridgeport Township Police also reported a suspect tried to take a converter from a vehicle at a business located at 3740 Sherman St. on Feb. 13 about 7 a.m. The converter was left at the scene, as police say, likely because the metal inside was highly retreated.

Bridgeport Township Police are investigating multiple catalytic converter thefts.

“We’re taxpaying citizens. We have employees that we have to pay, you know, we got a whole bunch of stuff that we have to do to provide for our family and this doesn’t do nothing but take away from it,” McKinney said.

In total, thieves have taken 28 catalytic converters. That is up to $26,000 worth of parts and labor due to the precious metal platinum in the piece.

“We have employees, this takes out of the money for us to pay employees and everything. You know, when you replace them, you know, God forbid they come down there and take another one that’s a new one,” McKinney said.

After previous thefts, McKinney installed cameras and got the thief on video. He described the suspect as a 5′11′ man, about 180 pounds and he was wearing a dark jumpsuit and surgical mask.

“You want to take from somebody who’s been servicing this community for over 17 years. You know, let alone not just taking it too personally, but you’re affecting the community as well. Because when you take from somebody that means, it’s additional cost that comes later on down the line,” McKinney said.

The thefts are being investigated by the Bridgeport Township Police Department. Anyone with more information on these cases is asked to call Bridgeport Township Police at 989-777-2800 or Saginaw County Central Dispatch at 989-797-4580.