Portsmouth car dealership targeted multiple times in just over a year by thieves stealing catalytic converters

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A Portsmouth business is fed up after being targeted by thieves several times in just over a year.

Catalytic converters have been stolen from multiple vehicles at Monarch Motors off High Street.

The owner said it’s been an ongoing problem in the area that needs to be addressed.

The latest theft happened two weeks ago.

Surveillance video shows a car drive past the dealership parking lot and eventually pull in.

The thief was in and out in less than three minutes.

Karna Shah, the owner of the dealership, and another employee discovered the damage.

Shah said it’s the fourth time his business has been hit.

“The first time about four or five cars got hit at once and that adds up over time,” he said.

Replacing the catalytic converters hasn’t been cheap either. We’re told it can cost over $1,000 depending on the make and model of the vehicle.

The dealership has fixed about 10 vehicles since the thefts began.

“It impacts us tremendously — going through COVID, being a small-town business owner already kind of brought us down a lot,” Shah said.

He also said other nearby businesses have been targeted, too. He’s concerned the problem will only get worse.

“I got a call from one of my guys two days ago saying that, broad daylight, somebody down the road over there was just parked, jacked the car and was just cutting the catalytic converter off of it,” Shah said.

The business has filed police reports each time. Shah also plans to add more cameras but he hopes police will dedicate more resources to prevent these thefts from happening.

“If this stops, we can operate better you know and give back to the City of Portsmouth instead of having thoughts of running away,” Shah said.

10 On Your Side contacted the Portsmouth police to see how many catalytic converter thefts have been reported this year and if there are any plans to crack down on this issue.

We’ll let you know of any updates.

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