Man caught by police underneath parked car allegedly stealing catalytic converter

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catalytic converter
Catalytic converters are targeted by theft due to the precious metals used to make them, including palladium and rhodium. Source/Kelly Blue Book

MANCHESTER, NH –A man has been charged with theft after police say they caught him in the act early Thursday morning of sawing a catalytic converter from underneath a car parked in a driveway on Mammoth Road.

On January 26, 2023, at approximately 5:45 a.m., Manchester Police responded to the area of 29  Mammoth Road for a report of a theft in progress. The caller believed someone was trying to steal a catalytic converter. 


Arriving officers were flagged down by the caller who led them to a nearby driveway. In the driveway officers could see someone underneath a parked vehicle. Officers approached the vehicle and announced themselves as police. The individual, identified as 60-year-old James  Cassidy of Manchester (no set address) surrendered to police and was taken into custody. 

An officer crawled under the vehicle and located a battery-operated saw and a catalytic converter that was partially cut from the under carriage. Another car parked nearby was found to have a  missing catalytic converter and fresh cut marks underneath. 

Cassidy was charged with criminal mischief, theft by unauthorized taking and loitering/prowling.

Tips to keep your car safe

According to Kelly Blue Book, the following tips have been recommended by law enforcement to help prevent becoming a victim of catalytic converter theft:

  • Get your catalytic converter etched. Many police departments and some muffler shops will happily etch your license plate number onto your car’s catalytic converter for free. Thieves have a much harder time selling a converter if it can be tied to a particular theft, making it almost worthless to them.
  • Park indoors if possible: What thief would break into a garage when there are easier targets outside?
  • Look for cameras: Choose parking garages and parking lots covered by cameras when you need to park the vehicle.
  • Park in a well-lighted area: Thieves are less likely to steal where they’re more likely to be seen.
  • Consider installing a dash camera. Some dash cams use motion sensors and will record anyone close enough to your car to get to the catalytic converter. The presence of a camera can be enough to scare thieves off to find easier prey.
  • Install an anti-theft device. Some car shops offer shields designed to make a catalytic converter harder to remove.


About this Author

Manchester NH Police Department

This press release was issued by Manchester, NH, Police Department.