There has been in trend of thefts of automobile parts throughout Southeastern Michigan and this trend has spread to the campus of Madonna University. Starting November of 2011, reports came into the Office of Public Safety at Madonna of catalytic converters stolen from student’s vehicles.

An exhaust emission control device, the catalytic converter converts toxic chemicals in the exhaust into less toxic substances. Hidden inside this device is the reason they are stolen; platinum and other precious metals. These metals are valuable and the catalytic converter can be sold to a scrap metal dealer for a quick buck.

Because Madonna has such an open campus and is located right off I-96, the University’s parking lots are a prime spot for scarping thieves. Removing the catalytic converter takes less than a minute, so it is as fast job that can be accomplished without being seen. Due to the recent thefts, security at Madonna has been increased with the officers conducting additional rounds and a greater security presence on campus.

Three suspects have been taken into police custody and though they have not been officially charged, it is believed that they are to blame for the automobile part thefts. Official charges will be brought against the suspects sometime in the next incoming weeks.

Madonna’s Director of Public Safety, David Hammerschmidt gives safety tips for students, especially those who live on campus.

“Though we have been a relatively crime free campus for many years, the recent rash of catalytic converter thefts on our campus has enabled us to review and improve our patrol methods especially in the parking lots. Protecting university property and the property of students, faculty/staff and visitors will continue to be at the forefront of our department’s mission. In assisting the department in carrying out that mission we will continue to ask the university community with their help in observing these basic rules of safety and security:

-Be alert of your surroundings.

-Report unusual activity by calling public safety at 734-432-5442 or use the emergency phone in the parking lot.

-Use the “buddy” system. There are safety in numbers, walk with someone especially at night.

-Secure your car, room/office, do not leave valuables (laptops, I-pads, purses etc.) unattended or in your car in plain view.

-Call for an escort from public safety at 734-432-5442.

-Do not prop open doors.

-Trust your instincts. If someone makes you feel uncomfortable call public safety. Better safe than sorry.

If you practice these basic rules of safety and security you will less likely be a victim of a crime.”



Catalytic converter thefts