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At least 24 catalytic converters stolen from Raleigh auto shops

Posted February 26, 2013

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— At least two dozen catalytic converters were stolen from vehicles parked at auto shops in east Raleigh over the weekend.

Jim Sughrue, a spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department, said Tuesday that someone cut a hole into a fence around the lot at Griffin's Transmission Services, at 1031 Corporation Parkway, Sunday evening and stole five catalytic converters.

Nineteen others were stolen from two other shops in the area, including Garry's Auto Repair, at 1015 Corporation Parkway.

Police are still investigating the crime and have not yet identified any suspects.

Theft of the devices, installed on vehicles to help reduce pollution-causing emissions, isn't something most people think about until they are actually stolen, but insurance companies, like Nationwide Insurance, say it's a common crime.

Stolen converters are usually sold to scrap yards for around $100 to $150 because of the precious metals, such as rubidium, palladium and platinum, in them.

Replacing stolen catalytic converters can cost hundreds of dollars.

Thefts highlight appeal of catalytic converters Thefts highlight appeal of catalytic converters

Donna Augustono's daughter had the converter stolen from her Mitsubishi Galant.

"Financially, it's going to be a struggle to take care of the car, because it's probably going to be more than $200 to replace that part," Augustono said.

Garry Oates, who owns Garry's Auto Repair, says there's nothing that can be done to prevent converter thefts.

"All you can really do is to keep an eye on your car and be mindful of who is coming and going," he said

Nationwide says the thefts commonly occur on vehicles that sit higher from the ground as well as those that are parked for prolonged periods of time in large lots.

One of the best ways to help prevent thefts is to park in well-lighted areas and close to entrances.

Nationwide also recommends having the vehicle's license plate number engraved on the converter to make it traceable.

"There's no way to know if it's been stolen from our end," said Greg Brown, of Raleigh Metal Recycling, which buys and recycles metals.

Brown says he only buys from known businesses that repair or replace converters and he pays out using a special ATM machine that takes a photograph every time a person uses it.

16 Comments

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  • WageSlave Feb 28, 10:52 a.m.

    They are only that expensive if you buy it all through a shop.

    Just get a 80 dollar magnaflow universal Cat off of ebay and pay a shop 20 bucks to weld it on. I have done this on all my vehicles.

  • WageSlave Feb 28, 10:50 a.m.

    You mean to say that these auto shops are not responsible to replace them? I would assume that the auto shops insurance will cover this.
    TeresaBee

    If they are smart, there is a big sign that says NOT responsible for stolen or damaged property. Its usually right beside the "In god we trust, all others pay cash" sign lol.

  • WageSlave Feb 28, 10:48 a.m.

    Do like I did and cut the sucker off yourself. Weld a pipe in its place then gove the inspection dude an extra $!0.00 and go home.
    cowbell

    Generally it will make your car run worst (if its newer or 4cly) and its a 5,000 dollar federal fine to tamper with it.

  • WageSlave Feb 28, 10:47 a.m.

    umm lets see, a recent rash in thefts and they say they can't tell if they are stolen,the converters have #s on them that make them specific to vehicles,these metal places these buy them are commiting crimes as well.
    southerntalent

    I have been recycling converters for a long time. I have never noticed vehicle specific numbers on them, can you clarify?

  • southerntalent Feb 28, 10:33 a.m.

    "There's no way to know if it's been stolen from our end," said Greg Brown, of Raleigh Metal Recycling, which buys and recycles metals.

    umm lets see, a recent rash in thefts and they say they can't tell if they are stolen,the converters have #s on them that make them specific to vehicles,these metal places these buy them are commiting crimes as well.

  • exposure102 Feb 28, 9:32 a.m.

    Scrap metal recycling and pawn shops both should just put up signs outside that say "We pay top dollar for your hard-stolen goods."

  • more cowbell Feb 27, 7:19 p.m.

    Do like I did and cut the sucker off yourself. Weld a pipe in its place then gove the inspection dude an extra $!0.00 and go home.

  • sctech Feb 27, 4:38 p.m.

    If metal recycling places would stop taking catalytic converters and A/C coils it would probably cut down on theft quite a bit. A customer bringing twenty catalytic coverters should warrant a call to the police, but we all know money is involved.

  • Uhavenoclu Feb 27, 1:18 p.m.

    I think it was the insurance industry.Who gave them control on our cars???????????????????????.Since this healthcare junk the insurance industry are lining up to get a big chunk while y'all think it is good????????????

  • Country Girlz Have MORE fun Feb 27, 10:19 a.m.

    Contact the scraps yards and tell them to be on the look out for these items. Also make people produce a receipt of services/parts before accepting them.

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