CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) - Catalytic converter thefts are still on the rise across the country and thieves seem to be getting bolder.
Todd Tessmer was at a Home Depot in Clackamas County when he witnessed a man sawing off another person’s catalytic converter in the parking lot.
“I realized right then that he’s actually stealing somebody’s catalytic converter right there in the parking lot,” Tessmer said.
He was there with his wife to get supplies for a home remodel. He said it happened in the middle of the day.
Tessmer said the boldness the man had to do this with everyone watching was surprising and disturbing.
“You actually just saw how quickly it just, the guys just got up and took off,” he said. The cell phone video Tessmer shot shows the man parked his car right in front of the store with his hazard lights on while he sawed off the catalytic converter.
“It was a little leery, I work downtown at the Portland Market so I deal with all sorts of crazies and his reaction when he busted the saw and then was back again under the vehicle told me he was very desperate,” he said.
According to Been Verified, in 2019 there were 35 catalytic converter thefts in 2019, in 2020 that jumped to 427 and so far in 2021 that number sky rocketed to 1,460.
In Washington State, there were 42 of these thefts in 2019, 592 in 2020 and in 2021 so far, 3,379.
Tessmer did not call the police but said he hopes sharing the video will help catch the thief.
FOX 12 did reach out to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office about this but has not yet heard back.