Car burglars targeting METRO Park and Ride users

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Police say these thieves aren't after what's in the car, but what's underneath it (KTRK)

Twice in less than a month, a Katy man had his catalytic converter stolen off his truck while he was at work.

For Richard King, riding the bus and using METRO's Park and Ride has been just as much about saving money on fuel as it is about peace of mind.

However, now when he steps off the bus, his mind isn't' always at peace.

"There's nothing you can do about it. It's not like you can take it, lock it, hide it whatever the sign is they tell you to do. You can't take it to work," King said.

In just three weeks time, his truck's catalytic converter was stolen twice as it sat during the day in the Grand Parkway Park and Ride lot. In fact, the truck he's now driving is a rental because his is still in the shop getting its third catalytic converter.

Each time, a new catalytic converter has cost between $4,200-$47,00, some of which insurance covered.

Thieves can get a few hundred dollars for the precious metal that's inside, and stealing it takes only a few minutes.

"They'll cut right here and they'll cut right here and just take them," explained Mike Poutous of Poutous Coliision and Mechanical.

Trucks and SUVs, according to HPD's Oscar Gamez, are easier targets.

"The higher the vehicle, the easier it is to crawl underneath and cut it," said Gamez.

It must have been easy for the crooks who stole King's converters -- so easy they went back for seconds.

"It's people out here that know our routine. They know when we get dropped off. They know when we go to work. They know when we come back and they know during the day, there's not going to be anybody here," said King.

METRO responded with this statement:

"METRO Police reports this appears to be an isolated theft. We have had very few reports of theft at the Grand Parkway Park and Ride. We do patrol the lot and constantly monitor and adjust deployments. Currently, we do not plan to make any changes to security.

Officer Gamez suggests asking your mechanic to engrave your license plate number on your catalytic converter as a way to identify it if it's stolen and recovered."

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