Two Johnston County churches reported catalytic converter thefts this week.
On Wednesday, a member of the Bethel Original Freewill Baptist Church at 3168 NC Highway 96 South, Four Oaks reported a catalytic converter had been cut from a Ford van in the parking lot. The theft occurred sometime between June 30th and July 14th.
A catalytic converter was also stolen from a church van at Bethesda Baptist Church at 4967 US Highway 70 Business West, Clayton. A license plate was also stolen off the vehicle. The theft occurred between July 5th and July 13th. It was reported Wednesday.
Thieves target catalytic converters because they contain previous metals that are valuable to scrap metal dealers.
To help prevent your vehicle from being targeted, park in well-lit areas and in a garage when possible. If the converter is bolted on, consider having it welded to your vehicle frame, making it harder to steal. Engrave your vehicle identification number (VIN) on the catalytic converter, which can alert salvage yards it was stolen. Depending on your vehicle, set your car alarm to activate when it detects a vibration.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office is investigating both incidents.