Catalytic converters gone in 30 seconds

FrancFFrancF Member, Moderator Posts: 35,278 ******
edited October 2007 in General Discussion
Thieves have found a cache of platinum to fence for cold cash. The precious alloy isn't in the form of a high-end engagement ring. It's found inside catalytic converters on cars, trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

Thirty auto owners in the last two months have taken their rides to Muffler & Go on N. Leroy Street to have missing catalytic converters replaced, said owner Chris Burke. Burke added that three converters were stolen from cars waiting in his lot for repairs earlier this month.

"It's got platinum inside so they recycle it," Burke said. "The place that recycles will buy the old ones for between $40 to $150 a piece."

He said the replacement cost for the owner varies depending on size and type of converter. Some vehicles have more than one.

"Some cost $2,500 to replace," Burke said. "It's very expensive and the car won't run right without them."

Chief Rick Aro said the latest complaint came Wednesday from a business on Alloy Drive, where the converter was stolen from a 2004 Chevrolet Venture van parked overnight.

The suspect or suspects may be driving a van. A witness at a business near Muffler & Go told police she saw two men acting suspiciously near there about two weeks ago.

"One was crawling under a vehicle while another was standing and watching when she walked out," he said. They left in a van.

The problem has been around for more than a year according to Cpt. Chris Swanson with the Genesee County Sheriff Department.

"We recoverd truck loads of them three months ago from all over the state," Swanson said. "We did an investigation where we actually followed a ring all the way from Flint to Port Huron."


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