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Stolen Catalytic Converters on the Rise, Even in Parsippany


PARSIPPANY — Catalytic converter theft has been rising, not only in Parsippany but across the nation. According to Brian Conover, Parsippany Police Department, “We have had over 70 catalytic converters stolen from vehicles since the beginning of this year. In Parsippany, it’s not just one type of vehicle, but I can say it has been every make, model, and year.” Parsippany Focus could not receive any additional information due to current investigations involving these incidents.

The resident’s vehicle in the above picture stated it happened at 2:47 a.m., and it took less than three minutes for the thieves to steal the catalytic converter. She stated she resides in the area of Rockaway Meadow School.

While this has been happening for years, a recent uptick in catalytic converter theft may be motivated by economic turbulence from the pandemic. Additionally, the reduced foot traffic during this time may make it easier for thieves who feel less likely to be caught. It takes just a few minutes for a thief to “saw” the catalytic converter out of your car and leave you with thousands of dollars in damage.

For those novices, “A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that converts toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants by catalyzing a redox reaction.”

A three-way catalytic converter on a gasoline-powered 1996 Dodge Ram

According to Carfax, Cars Most Likely to Have Their Catalytic Converters Stolen Nationwide:

  1. 1985-2021 Ford F-Series
  2. 1989-2020 Honda Accord
  3. 2007-17 Jeep Patriot
  4. 1990-2022 Ford Econoline
  5. 1999-2021 Chevrolet Silverado
  6. 2005-21 Chevrolet Equinox
  7. 1997-2020 Honda CR-V
  8. 1987-2019 Toyota Camry
  9. 2011-17 Chrysler 200
  10. 2001-21 Toyota Prius

According to Carfax,  Cars Most Likely to Have Their Catalytic Converters Stolen in the Northeast:

    1. 1985-2021 Ford F-Series
    2. 1987-2019 Toyota Camry
    3. 1989-2020 Honda Accord
    4. 2007-17 Jeep Patriot
    5. 1997-2020 Honda CR-V
    6. 1998-2020 Subaru Forester
    7. 2007-20 Subaru Outback
    8. 1990-2022 Ford Econoline
    9. 1999-2021 Chevrolet Silverado
    10. 1993-2020 Nissan Altima

The High Cost of Catalytic Converter Theft

Discovering your catalytic converter has been taken can be a rude awakening – the exhaust system on your car, truck, or SUV will make a loud noise from where the device was removed.

Catalytic converter theft can be a costly loss for car owners who don’t have insurance coverage for it, according to Christopher McDonold, executive director for the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council.

“If you don’t have full coverage, or you can’t get coverage, you’re going to pay out of pocket to replace (the converter),” McDonold said. And that can run from $1,000 to $3,000 or more, according to the NICB.

In Parsippany, Mr. Johannes J. Vanwageningen, Jr., 37, Bloomingdale, was arrested on July 18 for “Theft by Unlawfully” taking certain moveable property, three catalytic converters from three parked vehicles, at the dealership of Jan Auto Sales LLC, 355 Route 46 East. He removed all three with a saw. He was charged with Theft of Movable Property NJSA 2C-20-3a and 2C:5-2. Conspiracy. a. Definition of conspiracy. A person is guilty of conspiracy with another person or persons to commit a crime if to promote or facilitate its commission.

in addition, his accomplish was also arrested and charged.

Lake Parsippany resident Lillian Morley said, “22 incidents from January through October 26 in a five-block radius from Summit Road in Lake Parsippany. Six plus catalytic converters were stolen on my street, one vehicle the catalytic converter was taken twice, and another vehicle was stolen out of the driveway. Then down the block was the man peeking in windows wearing a Gillie suit.” (see related article by clicking here).


Frank L. Cahill
Frank L. Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since January 1, 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, Lt. Governor Division 9 Kiwanis Club of NJ, and Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board.
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