LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Thieves in the Las Vegas Valley temporarily put the bite on one of Oscar Mayer’s Wienermobiles this week.
The 27-foot-long Wienermobile, in Las Vegas for a series of appearances ahead of Super Bowl weekend, had parked in the lot of the Sonesta Suites along Paradise Road on Thursday night. In the hours that followed, thieves apparently targeted the vehicle and made off with its catalytic converter, a vital part of the emissions system.
The crew became aware of the theft on Friday morning when they couldn’t get it started before for a 10 a.m. appearance at a supermarket. It was then towed to a truck-rental facility where mechanics installed a “temporary” catalytic converter.
The Wienermobile’s crew, which comprises of drivers nicknamed “Corn Dog” Clara and “Chad”dar Cheese, ultimately made it to their appearance.
Joseph Rodriguez, a parts administrator for the Penske rental facility where the Wienermobile was serviced, said he was a bit surprised to see the vehicle when he got to work.
“A hot dog truck? No way,” Rodriguez remembered. “Imagine like a huge hot dog in the middle of your bay. There’s all these other trucks, and you gotta work on this.”
Rodriguez said his workers were able to find a catalytic converter that fit, providing a temporary fix. Ordering the precise device for the wheeled wiener, he said, will take one to two months to get.
“It’s a huge problem,” he said of the increasing thefts in the valley. “It’s been going on for a couple of years now. Last summer especially, it [took] like two to three months to get one.”
A representative for Sonesta Suites said the company is looking into the theft. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said early Friday it had not received a report of the theft from the Wienermobile.
More than 2,600 catalytic converter thefts were reported to the Las Vegas Metro police in 2022. The department said, up from 1,894 the previous year for a 72% increase. The devices contain precious metals, including palladium and platinum, which can be turned into quick cash by thieves.
There are currently six Wienermobiles in Oscar Mayer’s “meat fleet,” according to the company. Fans can check their whereabouts on the official Oscar Mayer website.