13 catalytic converter thefts reported in Bradenton within 2 days; could be connected to cases outside city

Bradenton police are trying to track down the thieves who stole catalytic converters from Toyota pickup trucks parked at apartment complexes.

Initially, police reported the crimes occurred around 7 a.m. Tuesday at three apartments off of 51st Street West and Cortez Road, police said. By Wednesday evening, they said 8 additional cases were reported this morning – 7 of which were from Toyota vehicles.

"The catalytic converters were cleanly cut from the vehicles, and the cutting tool left behind a red residue," according to a news release from the agency.

Provided by Bradenton Police Department

Investigators believed the cases could be connected to multiple thefts targeting Toyota Tundra and Tacoma trucks outside their jurisdiction. The thefts have occurred in apartment complexes, as well as hotel parking lots and gated communities.

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The suspect vehicles were identified in those cases as a 2022 white BMW X4 crossover SUV with stolen Florida license plate JFGN32, and a white Audi four-door sedan. Police said they aren't sure yet if the same suspects are involved with the thefts within the city.

Provided by Bradenton Police Department

Anyone with information is asked to call Officer Brian Sands at 941-999-8978 or brian.sands@bradentonpd.com.

To avoid becoming a victim of catalytic converter theft, Bradenton police offer the following advice:

  • Park in a garage when possible.
  • Park in an area covered by surveillance video.
  • Park close to curbs to deter access underneath your vehicle.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Etch your vehicle’s VIN and license plate number on your catalytic converter. You can also write your VIN on your converter using a UV pen.