Shop owners in Toledo, OH, have seen an increase in the number of catalytic converters that are being stolen from vehicles in their parking lots. They are hoping that surveillance video will help the police catch the thieves.
Below is the article as it appeared on the FOX Toledo.com website.
Catalytic converter thefts way up
October 5, 2011
By Kevin Milliken
TOLEDO, Ohio (WUPW) – The platinum and precious metal in one car part is proving to be a scrap metal goldmine.
Auto repair shops and other businesses in West Toledo are watching thieves cut the catalytic converters off cars left in their parking lots.
Auto repair shop owners are worried customers won’t come back if there’s more damage done to their cars than fixes. They’re hoping surveillance video will help police catch the catalytic converter culprits.
"This car was perfectly quiet yesterday," said Earl Brothers Transmission service manager Jeff Booth as he fired up a Pontiac SUV.
The owner of Earl Brothers put the SUV in front of his shop hoping to sell it for his daughter. Instead, someone stole the catalytic converter sometime Tuesday night.
"That’s what happens when the converter’s gone,” Booth said of the loud sound. “Straight open exhaust and flames blowing under your car. Very dangerous and it’s polluting like crazy. The car cannot be driven."
The thieves even left behind broken and bent sawblades.
"These guys are flaunting it. That’s what offends me so much,” he said. “They’re so not afraid of the police that they leave everything laying here."
The service manager at J-and-J Service Center gave police surveillance footage at his car repair shop. It shows a theft in progress on a recent Sunday morning. A thief pulls up next to a car, jacks it up, and cuts out the catalytic converter — all within a short time span.
To read the entire article on the FOX Toledo.com website, visit http://www.foxtoledo.com/dpp/news/local/catalytic-converter-thefts-way-up.