Norfolk transmission shop owner out thousands of dollars after thieves steal catalytic converters


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A local businessman is putting up a $1,000 reward to catch the thieves who cost his mechanic shop thousands of dollars.

Inside of Gary’s Transmissions, off of North Military Highway and Robin Hood Road, you’ll find all sorts of tools and vehicle parts.

Moving forward, when everything is closed up at night, you’ll now find cars and catalytic converters locked in the garage, as well. That’s because owner Gary Leach doesn’t want to take any more chances.

“I’ll make sure they’re in the building or the [catalytic converters] are off laying inside my building, you know, they have to break in the building then,” said Leach.

He’s doing this because of what his surveillance camera showed at 3:45 a.m. on Monday, April 5.

“All we could see was someone walking by the interstate, going in and out of the fence of the interstate where he cut it,” said Leach.

In about 20 minutes, thieves cut a hole in the fence, and stole the catalytic converters off of 11 cars.

Leach says other nearby mechanic shops have also been the target of thieves. The catalytic converters are on the underbelly of the car and can be worth a pretty penny when melted down.

He estimates replacing the stolen catalytic converters will cost him at least $4,000.

“If my insurance doesn’t cover it, I’m going to pay for it because it’s my customers, I got to take care of my customers,” Leach said. “They were here in my responsibility, so that’s the way I feel it should be done.”

Leach knows he’ll get through this, but he’s upset.

“It’s tough, really is,” said Leach. “All the years you work your … off for everything and someone takes it from you.”

In case the thieves think of returning, Leach says he will be watching.

“I come at 3 a.m., leave all the lights out, come through the front door, go to the back door and look out and see if I see anybody out there,” he said.

Leach says Norfolk police have visited the shop at least four times in the past few days. 10 On Your Side has reached out for an update on the investigation and are waiting to hear back.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887) or submit a tip online.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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