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Denver woman taking matters into her own hands after SUV targeted twice by thieves

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Catalytic converter
Posted at 9:13 PM, Mar 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-02 11:33:58-05

DENVER — Anna Scopp is taking matters into her own hands after she says her SUV was targeted twice by thieves.

“I’m not going to let myself be a passive player in this. Somebody needs to do something,” she told Denver7.

Scopp says someone stole what they thought was the catalytic converter from her 2008 Lexus RX400H twice in a matter of a few months.

The first theft happened near her home in Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood last November when Scopp was out of town. The second time happened on Feb. 9 on nearby Tennyson Street when she was at her morning yoga class.

“I parked my car about 5:50 right in front of my yoga studio, quite a busy street. I went inside, went to my class, came out just after 7 a.m. When I turned my car on, immediately, because I recognized that sound,” said Scopp.

She reported both incidents to Denver police.

Scopp says she felt like police weren't doing enough to help following the first incident, so she approached the second theft differently. She obtained surveillance footage of the February theft from the owner of Voghera Restaurant, which shows a man stealing a part from underneath her car then walking away.

“Once I was able to obtain the video, I think that kind of really sparked something in them realizing like, 'You know, maybe we can actually solve this incident,'” said Scopp.

She took her SUV to the Stevinson Lexus Dealership for repairs both times, only to find out something else.

“They basically told me, 'Based upon the picture you sent me, I actually think they missed your catalytic converter and they cut your resonator,' which is actually what happened both times. It's a part of the muffler system that they cut, but they aren't even smart enough to cut the right thing,” said Scopp.

A catalytic converter and a resonator look fairly similar, and sit next to each other underneath a vehicle.

The Denver Police Department told Denver7 both cases are open, and detectives are checking with neighboring businesses to see if there's other video from the February theft.

So far this year, 465 catalytic converter thefts were reported in Denver as of February 23, according to Denver police. Investigators say they're reaching out to Scopp to offer some tips so this doesn't happen for a third time.

Scopp says she is doing everything she can to make sure the suspect in the video is caught.

“If these people know that the people you're victimizing are not going to sit on the sidelines and do nothing, maybe it will deter people in the future,” she said.

Denver PD says catalytic converter thefts can be hard to investigate since they don't have a serial number to track back to the vehicle and owner if recovered. Officials suggest engraving your catalytic converters with serial numbers or other markings to deter thieves and help with identifying purposes.

DPD says it plans to hold a theft prevention event this month. Denver7 will let you know when a specific date is set.

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