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Within the last two months the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office has investigated around 20 different reports of catalytic converter thefts.

“All the surrounding agencies have been receiving reports of these thefts,” Chief Deputy Scott Hall said.

A person will know their catalytic converter has been stolen because their vehicle will run rough and will be louder than normal, Hall said.

Not only has the uptick been reported across the Roanoke Valley, but in Southside Virginia.

Because the thefts are across the area, Hall said Detective Matt Brown is working with a multi-agency taskforce on these cases.

Preventive measures include:

Parking vehicles in a well-lit area

Parking vehicles where cameras are present

Engraving, if possible, an identifiable mark on the converter

Hall said Ford trucks and vans as well as hybrid vehicles are the most sought-after converters by thieves, who have been known to use ATVs to accomplish the crime.

The theft of a converter from a vehicle may cost the victim $1,000 or more to be replaced.

Report any suspicious activity to your local law enforcement agency or the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office at 252-583-8201 or call Crimestoppers at 252-583-4444.