CUMMING — Cumming police are investigating the recent thefts of catalytic converters from Honda Elements parked at Northside Hospital-Forsyth.
All three of the thefts occurred during daylight hours July 12 in the lot near the hospital’s front entrance, behind the Women’s Center and the third level of the parking deck.
Although the converters were stolen during daylight, no suspicious activity was reported, according to Cumming Police Chief Casey Tatum.
With the right tools — in this case, likely a cordless saw or something similar — a catalytic converter can be removed within minutes, Tatum said.
The Honda Element is a compact crossover sport utility vehicle. The part costs about $450 to $500 to replace, according to Tatum.
“[Sometimes] the catalytic converter interior contains precious metals, and so they sell them for scrap,” he said.
One of the Hondas belongs to Bill Patton, who was visiting his mother at the hospital between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. July 12. He noticed an unusual noise when he attempted to drive away.
“It sounded like someone cranked up a motorcycle in my back seat when I started the car up,” he said.
That sound is a common sign that a car’s catalytic converter is missing, authorities said.
Cumming police are working with hospital security on the case.