BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) — Car dealerships in Waynesboro are on high alert after parts were stolen off several cars, in what appears to be a targeted operation. Catalytic converters have been cut off at least five cars at dealerships, including the Waynesboro Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram dealer.
“They were in and out of here in an hour, so it wasn’t their first time doing it,” Curt Markey, the parts manager of Waynesboro Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram dealer, said.
Catalytic converters are found on the bottoms of cars and used to filter exhaust. Instigators believe they were targeted because they can be sold for a few hundred dollars.
“They’re made up of platinum components,” Capt. Randall Norman of the Burke County Sheriff’s Office said. “When you take those catalytic converters off and take them to a scrap yard, you’re able to make pretty decent money.”
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office is now searching for three black males they believe are responsible for the the crime. The suspects were seen on surveillance footage driving a pick-up truck.
“They’ve [investigators] been canvassing the areas,” Norman explained. “They’ve been looking at different surveillance footage. They’ve tried to maybe pull fingerprints.”
Investigators are now urging surrounding dealerships to keep a close eye on their inventory until arrests are made.
“We encourage all dealerships to ensure that if you have a surveillance system, ensure that it’s working properly,” Norman urged. “Ensure that you have backups to those systems. Ensure that you have your dealership in well-lit areas.”
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information to contact them at 706-554-2133.