Thieves target catalytic converters from landscaping vehicles

Woodstock police are looking for a group of thieves who stole parts from beneath vehicles parked at a landscaping business and the suspects were captured on surveillance video

The vehicles were secured, locked up in the company parking lot, but that didn't stop the thieves who cut right through the fence.

Police released surveillance images of a white sedan believed to have been involved in the incident at Hutcheson Horticultural Company on Arnold Mill Way in Woodstock.

The thieves struck under the cover of darkness sometime between September 30 and October 1.

Business owner Mark Hutcheson tells FOX 5 the suspects were caught on surveillance camera with the stolen goods that night.

"We had some video with a white Nissan car come in and we could actually see 'em after they got the catalytic converters off they actually put them in the front of the car," said Mark Hutcheson, owner Hutcheson Horticultural Company.

Hutcheson's not alone.

"Every year around this time I start getting reports of that," said Mary Kay Woodworth, Executive Director of the Georgia Urban Agriculture Council.

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The Georgia Urban Agriculture Council, which is a trade association for the professional landscape industry in Georgia was inundated with reports of catalytic converter thefts after they sent this letter to members informing them thieves had taken several catalytic converters from a metro Atlanta area landscape company in recent weeks.

"I put an email blast out to our members and others in the industry and within five minutes I had gosh eight or nine companies say we were broken into within the past two weeks, 3 months, 6 months or even earlier this year," said Woodworth.

Woodworth said the association sees a spike in cases about once a year and said a good security system is the best defense.

"You've really got to boost your security, you've got to have very high tech security cameras motion sensor lighting. You have to make sure the fencing you have securing your workplace is very secure," said Woodworth.

Anyone with information in the Hutcheson case is asked to contact the Woodstock Police Department.

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