Catalytic converter thefts on the rise

NOW: Catalytic converter thefts on the rise

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- It’s a crime that can happen in your own driveway and it only takes less than five minutes. Catalytic converter thefts have been on the rise over the last several months and have even caused local law enforcement to consider raising fines for those caught in the act.

“Mine ended up costing me about 100 dollars. But, to a customer to fix their own vehicle they would be looking anywhere from 1,500 dollars all the way up to, we had one customer it run them it was almost 10,000 dollars," said Zachary Early, Service Rider.

Surveillance video at his father’s auto shop has already caught three separate incidents of the quick theft which he says is more susceptible to trucks and SUV’s because they’re easier to get under than other vehicles low to the ground. Combined with the demand of precious metals going up it’s become an easy way for thieves to get some quick cash.

“Catalytic converters are full of precious metals and that’s why they are the number one target. Not only are they easy to get to, easy to cut off, and easy to steal they’re loaded with platinum, silver, and gold," said Early.

The local auto shop has already had over ten cases of their own vehicles being targeted and it’s led them to keep every vehicle inside their garage after hours to avoid any future incidents.

“That’s about it to be completely honest it has to be kept indoors under lock and key in a garage," said Early.

Local auto shops are now requiring photo ID’s for anyone looking to sell converters which has caused many to turn to eBay and you can find some going for over $250.

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