I-Team 8

Caught on camera: Thieves target catalytic converters at car dealership

INDIANAPOLIS — A car dealership on the west side of Indianapolis is out thousands of dollars because of thieves targeting catalytic converters.

Early Sunday morning, AMS Cars had nine catalytic converters cut off of vehicles in their lot. Sam Sodhi, manager of AMS Cars told News 8 this happens often.

“Every other month,” he said.

Sodhi said this theft is one of the worst they’ve experienced. The entire thing was caught on their security cameras.

The video shows someone in-between their cars and crawling under them. You can see sparks flying from where they cut the catalytic converters off under the cars.

A neighboring business called 911 when their security camera system sent them an alert. Minutes later, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department can be seen arriving and arresting one of the two suspects.

Collin Rushton is charged with felony theft in connection to the alleged theft. Police are still looking for a second suspect who ran away from the scene when they arrived.

IMPD told News 8 catalytic converter thefts are a consistent problem.

“It’s been on our radar for some time now,” said IMPD Public Information Officer William Young.

It’s not easy to catch the thieves because the car parts are hard to match with the crime, “It is extremely difficult, because they don’t have a VIN number, a Vehicle Identification number,” Young said.

Car owners can have their catalytic converters painted and engraved with the VIN number so it’s easier for IMPD to track. This case was different because they were able to catch the suspect in the act.

“It’s always good to have good neighbors. Well lit areas. Camera footage is always good so that we can be able to track down these individuals and I think in this particular case that’s exactly what happened,” Young said.

Sodhi says they’re glad the they were caught, but their business will still have to pay a hefty price to fix the cars and get them ready for sale.

“About 1500 bucks a piece plus labor,” he said.

That equates to roughly $13,000.