It's been a frustrating winter for us all. While cold temps and snow is nothing abnormal about a typical Midwest winter, we all still get to a point where we are just tired of it. But those who have to deal with the snow or people who get stuck in it probably get sick of winter quicker than anyone.

Tyler Petersen, a tow truck driver for Downtown Auto Clinic in Clinton had a really frustrating night on Monday. While out helping people get their cars unstuck and plowing snow, he stopped inside a local restaurant to get a quick bite to eat only to find his tow truck gone.

Petersen posted on a local scanner page for Clinton and the surrounding communities in the Gateway area that his tow truck was stolen. In his original post, Petersen said he stopped to get food and left it run his tow truck running since it’s a diesel and he didn’t want it to gel up.

The vehicle stolen was described by Petersen as a white 3500 Dodge Ram long bed with a big dent in the side of the passenger side box. On the front of the truck was a Boss stainless 'V' plow.

Tyler Petersen

Petersen said that his tow truck was not taken from his shop, Downtown Auto Clinic, but from a business in town. Petersen didn't want to name to location for respect of the owners. Petersen told me in an interview that it was near the 400 block of north 2nd street in Clinton.

I reached out to Petersen on Tuesday morning to see if his truck was found yet. He told me that it was found in a ditch on second avenue south, heading towards the Brandon Hills development, in Clinton.

Tyler Petersen

After examining his tow truck, Petersen found that his catalytic converter was cutoff and stolen. According to Cars.com., catalytic converters are designed to act as a line of defense against harmful exhaust system emissions by turning pollutants into harmless gasses. Thieves target catalytic converters because they contain precious metals, like platinum, palladium or rhodium, that are valuable to metal dealers.

Petersen says that catalytic converters are especially popular items to steal among diesel vehicles. Petersen told me that it was cost around $2,000 to have that replaced on his truck.

Petersen is extremely frustrated by the deal. Knowing Tyler personally, I can tell you he is a hard worker and helps out a lot of people in Clinton when they are having issues, especially in the winter. Petersen told me,

"I’m just so frustrated I bust my a** in this freezing cold all day and night. I run into a place to eat a pizza as it’s super late and nothing is open, and there are no hot meals. I want to come back out to a warm truck."

And as mentioned before, Petersen's has a diesel truck and with these extremely cold temps, he can't turn off his truck when going inside somewhere quickly.


 

For those of us who don't have diesel vehicles, don't forget to #LockItDownQC!

Because of the rising numbers of car thefts throughout the Quad Cities, over 20 law enforcement agencies, including the Illinois State Police, Iowa State Patrol, and the Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, Rock Island, and East Moline Police Departments have started the #LockItDownQC campaign.

According to the official Lock It Down QC website,

The mission of Lock It Down QC is to prevent auto theft in the Quad City Area. Lock It Down QC is a cooperative effort of Iowa and Illinois Quad City Area law enforcement agencies.

On the Lock It Down QC website, officials say that over 70 cars were stolen in the Quad Cities in December 2020, including one day where 14 vehicles were stolen

On the Lock It Down QC website, officials outline three key actions Quad City citizens can take to prevent car theft including:

  1. Never leave your car running, even if you have your fob.
  2. Always lock your car.
  3. Never leave your keys in your car.

You can find more information and tips about #LockItDownQC here.

Trust me, it doesn't take long for a vehicle to be stolen. Back in December, our older brother 97x published a story about how fast someone's car can be stolen out of their garage. Take a look for yourself below.

Iowa's Second Oldest Bar