Thieves target high school parking lot to steal catalytic converters

KLEIN – Bobbi Pfleger’s daughter knew something was wrong when she tried to start her mother’s SUV Tuesday in the parking lot at Klein Collins High School.

“It sounded really really bad,” Pfleger recalled. “She was afraid to keep it running.”

Once Pfleger’s husband arrived at the campus they discovered the vehicle’s two catalytic converters had been stolen -- just one of three converter thefts in the high school parking lot that very same day.

“It looked like it was someone that knew what they were doing,” Pfleger said. “They were trying to do it very quickly and get in and out.”

Catalytic converters have been a target of thieves in the past because of the precious metals it is made of, which can be exchanged for a good price at the scrap yard.

Law enforcement says since fewer people have been commuting during the pandemic, there have been fewer targets in normal locations such as grocery stores and business parking lots. The thieves are looking for atypical targets these days like high school parking lots.

Pfleger has insurance to cover the loss but is thinking of other potential victims who don’t.

“If people don’t have insurance that might cover it, the estimates I’m getting are anywhere from $5,500 to $7,000,” she said.

Klein ISD police are investigating. There are cameras in the parking lot but they are looking for leads.

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