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Thieves cash in on stolen catalytic converters

Updated: Mar. 4, 2021 at 3:30 AM EST
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - In the past several months we have covered several reports of stolen catalytic converters.

It’s another way thieves are trying to cash in on quick money.

Thomas Wilson at Blue Grass Recycling in Burlington Kentucky says the theft is easy and can be done in less than two minutes.

“They cut the one end of the pipe off and then they cut the other end of the pipe off and this (the catalytic converter) will just be underneath your vehicle,” said Wilson.

Wilson says those who are selling stolen catalytic converters can get hundreds of dollars for it.

“They’re full of rare earths like platinum, rhodium all of these high dollar commodities and with the surge in commodities pricing people want to find ways to maximize their money,” said Wilson.

Unfortunately, he says there isn’t a lot that can be done to stop it. He says it’s best to park in a garage, but if you don’t have one he suggests parking in a high traffic area that’s well lit or near street cameras.

“Other than that there’s not really a lot of great options because the converter itself does not have the vin number from the vehicle on it so even if your converter gets stolen you can’t easily trace it,” said Wilson.

According to Wilson, Blue Grass Recycling typically buys about five to ten catalytic converters a day and they have been cautious with the business they take. Wilson says they always looking at the customer’s driver’s license and record their plate number. He also says that they turn away anyone who appears suspicious.

“Unfortunately, in many cases it’s not about what we’re doing. It’s about what the worst guy is doing, right. There’s these people who can move them, the thieves and that’s a tricky one for the police officers,” said Wilson.

Wilson tells us that Blue Grass Recycling is currently working with Boone County police to try to come up with some kind of plan to reduce these type of thefts.

We also reached out to Cincinnati Police and they tell us that they are also working with area scrap yards and they keep a data base of who is selling converters.

They have also complied a “Dealer No Buy List”, which lists names those with a history of theft.

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