The same day a man from Walker, Minn., viewed an Alpha News report about a man who had his car stolen in Edina, he had both of his catalytic converters cut from his Toyota Tundra in St. Paul. He believes more crime victims need to speak out about what’s happening in Minnesota’s cities.
“It was parked on East 11th Street in downtown St. Paul on Sunday morning, Feb. 12, around 10:30 a.m. while I was having breakfast with my son a block away,” recalled Simon, who asked to be identified only by his first name.
According to the Pioneer Press, there were just 345 reports of stolen catalytic converters to St. Paul police between 2014 and 2019. In 2021, that number climbed to 1,811 and through October 2022 there were 2,156 reports.
“Apparently, there were 50-plus catalytic converters stolen every week in 2022 just in St. Paul. It’s an epidemic and costs the insurance industry millions and victims a lot of time and money,” Simon said.
As he towed Simon’s truck away, a AAA driver told Simon it was his sixth catalytic converter pickup just that week.
Simon said a camera about 50 feet away on the Health and Human Services building likely captured the crime that morning.
But Simon acknowledged that police don’t have the time or resources to focus on these crimes.
“I am sure that the police have more pressing things to deal with like shootings, break-ins, carjackings,” he said.
“I had to rent a car to get back and I’m still renting it as of today while the insurance adjusters and the garage do their work with a total cost of more than $5,000,” he added.
The automotive repair shop told him it has to replace the entire exhaust system, from the engine to the tailpipe, because of the way the suspects sawed off the catalytic converters. He also said Toyota parts would cost $6,500, but they are on backorder for several months because Tundras are a common target.
“I’m not sure what the answer is here, but while kids are getting stabbed in school, there are carjackings and robberies, our brilliant legislators are wasting time passing laws to put tampons in boys’ bathrooms. You can’t make it up,” Simon said.