VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Monday morning at Lynnhaven Crossing, John Otocka, with Better View Windows and More, tried to start one of his fleet vehicles.
“It sounded really loud and we could tell something was wrong,” said Otocka.
That loud noise tipped him off something he’d heard before.
“Of course, all of us kind of knew it. We just looked at each other and was like ‘Someone stole the converter off of it’” said Otocka.
On Mother’s Day, around 7 p.m., The same company car was hit for a second time for a catalytic converter. But this time, the theft was caught in high definition.
“These guys are smart, I think they’ve done this a few times,” said Otocka, “He checked the door, and when he walks back, he touches the hood to see if it’s still hot. There’s another guy that’s actually in the truck, he’s gonna hop out and you can barely see him. He’s looking around, he’s sneaking out, he’s staying low to make sure no one can really see him, closes the door, he’ll be under the truck for about a minute. They are out of here a minute from now.”
The stolen part costs about $1,300 to replace, but the unseen cost is going up because of the work the vehicle is unable to do for the business. Otocka posted the video to social media to share with the public how security systems can help catch or deter potential thieves.
“If people realized, ‘Hey I’m being filmed, I’m gonna get caught, this is not a great idea,’ maybe people like me can go get cameras, whether it’s your personal driveway, whether it’s your business, film it. A lot of people are not going to want to be seen on camera,” he said.
As far as the catalytic converter crook, Otocka wants to give him a second chance.
“Fix what you did,” said Otocka. “If someone came forward and did that, I’m supposed to let them fix it, make it better, say your apologies, leave. Doesn’t mean I’m turning the cameras off.”