ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - It was a hot crime nearly a decade ago, thefts of the catalytic converters on automobiles. It appears there may be an uptick in the thefts, as reports of the crime are surfacing around Midtown Atlanta.
"I came back after a week of being out of town and it had happened," said Midtown resident Scott Mattocks. What happened to Mattocks, he says, was a catalytic converter heist.
"My car sounded like a race car when I turned it on. I checked underneath and I could see that someone had cut out the better part of my tailpipe, including my catalytic converter" Mattocks told FOX 5 News.
Mattocks says it happened on Greenwood Avenue, a well-traveled midtown side street., as his vehicle sat parked just feet from his front door. He alerted his neighbors using social media and quickly discovered server reports of the same crime.
"I'm certainly not the first person this had happened to in the neighborhood" Mattocks added.
In fact, residents from several nearby streets reached out to Mattocks and reported similar crimes.
"I thought it was random until social media reaffirmed that even in recent months it seems that this is common, it is more common than I knew, and I don't really know what I could have done about it, its sort of a crime that makes you feel helpless. I can have my car repaired but I still would have to park it on the street in the same spot and what is to stop it from happening again" Mattocks noted.
His repair took him to nearby K & M Auto Repair, where the owner tells us he has seen several cases recently. Mattocks says the repair will cost him nearly $2,400. He says the experience has made him question whether keeping a vehicle parked on the street near his home is worth the risk of having a vehicle in town at all.
Mattocks plans to file a report with police.