LANCASTER – PA State Police are reaching out to Lancaster County citizens to determine if they are victims of catalytic converter theft by their vehicle mechanic or repair center. Information has been received by police that garages are convincing customers that removing their vehicle’s catalytic converter will prevent them from being a victim of theft. After the garage removes the catalytic converter, the mechanic will install a pipe in its place, bypassing the vehicle’s emission system. The garage would sell the catalytic converter to a recycling center without compensating the customer or reducing their service bill. PSP is warning citizens of not becoming a victim of this ruse. Removing the catalytic converter can result in costly damages to your vehicle, a vehicle fire or lethal exhaust fumes entering the passenger compartment. Anyone who has had their catalytic converter removed by their mechanic under the guise of “theft protection” or if you have information about a repair center removing catalytic converters is asked to contact PSP Troop J Vehicle Fraud Investigations Unit at 717-299-7650. Anonymous tips can be submitted to PA Crimestoppers at their website at crimewatchpa.com/crimestoppers.