TCCoA Forums banner

1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,645 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Guard your Catalytic Converters!

FYI.

Keep an eye on your catalytic converters; especially if you have a SUV or pickup that sits high and allows easy access to the undercarriage. Or, if you're planning on going catless and upgrading your exhaust this might be a great way to finance the project. :zdunno:


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gone in 60 seconds: treasure in your car
As precious metals prices soar, catalytic converters are targets for thieves
By Alex Johnson
Reporter
updated 4:38 p.m. ET, Tues., Feb. 12, 2008

As prices of precious metals skyrocket, thieves are targeting an obscure component of automotive exhaust systems in lightning thefts that can be accomplished in less than a minute, police and automotive experts say.

The component is the catalytic converter, which has been a mandatory part of exhaust systems since 1975. Police across the country say they have seen a dramatic rise in thefts of the components in recent months.

If you peer inside a used catalytic converter, nothing looks salvageable, much less valuable. But some of the gray gunk in there hides three expensive precious metals.

Catalytic converters have only small traces of the metals platinum, palladium and rhodium but there's enough in them for a thief to resell stolen units for up to $200 apiece. Rhodium is among the most expensive metals on Earth, commanding as much as $6,000 an ounce on the open market.

Scrap dealers are paying top dollar platinum, palladium, rhodium inside of them and they're getting top dollaron resale, said Jack Bell of North Shore Towing, which tows vehicles for the Evanston, Ill., police.

The word spreads real quick about it, what they're worth,said Marty Antonelli of Marty's Welding and Muffler Shop in Pittsburgh. Everybody is on them now.

Easy to find = easy to steal
The converters are inviting targets because they're easy to grab. Mounted on the exterior undercarriage of vehicles, they can be removed in about a minute with any standard metal cutting tool. An enterprising thief in a crowded parking lot or garage can make off with enough converters to clear $2,000 or $3,000 in half an hour.

These thieves are targeting shopping malls, school parking lots, busy business districts, and they are hitting these places in the daylight,said Jennifer Krings, a spokeswoman for AAA. A lot of the large passenger cars SUVs, trucks and vans have two, so those are a target.


Anita Ortez returned to the parking lot after a short shopping run at a supermarket in DeSoto, Texas, to quickly learn that something was wrong with her SUV, a Toyota 4Runner.

I turned it on, and it made a whoooom noise,said Ortez, who said she was in the store for only about 20 minutes. I jumped back thinking it was going to explode.

She had the right idea. Besides rendering your exhaust system inoperable, a missing catalytic converter can be dangerous.

On some of these cars, if that pipe gets cut off near some wiring or a fuel line or a gas tank which in some cases are not shielded there is a possibility of a fire and/or explosion,said David Eames of Pittman Automotive Service in Seattle.


Easy pickings in crowded lots
Ortez is just one of hundreds of victims in small-town DeSoto, population 37,000.

This is a new thing for us,DeSoto police Lt. Mike Sullivan said. I think it's starting to be a trend throughout the United States.

The 4Runner is the most common target of thieves, said the Los Angeles Police Department, which issued a public warning about what it called a new disturbing trend.The 4Runner sits high off the ground, and its converter is attached with four bolts that are easily sawed off, making it simple for thieves to duck underneath, do their business and scoot.

The Kia Sportage, with a similar profile, is also popular, said Ron Baker, general manager of Spitzer Motors in Cleveland.

They're the easiest to get under and the easiest to remove,Baker said.

But any vehicle made after 1975 is a potential target, said Kyle Evans, a spokesman for the Murfreesboro, Tenn., police.

This is certainly something that could happen in someone's driveway,Evans said.

More commonly, it happens in parking lots and garages, where dozens of vehicles are lined up ripe for the plucking.

I've heard of people going into apartment complexes in the middle of the night just taking a handsaw, getting up under someone's car and sawing it off,said Tony Murtell, manager of U-Pull & Pay in Philadelphia. They collect a few of them and take off somewhere to be recycled.

It's happening everywhere now, you know,said Trina Stutt, part-owner of Stutt's Transmission Service in Pulaski, Tenn. I am shocked at how fast this is growing.

A hard crime to uncover
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, a national trade association, said there were no national statistics on the pilferage of catalytic converters, which are generally lumped in with other auto-theft incidents. But it said it had seen a sharp rise in reports of thefts, and it urged scrap dealers to be suspicious of anyone walking in with a converter.

As it happens, there's not much a recycler can do. Catalytic converters don't have serial numbers, so they can't be tracked, making a stolen converter all but impossible for a scrap dealer to identify.

It's very hard to trace that,said Sgt. Chuck Zeissler of the Madison County, Ala., Sheriff's Office. You would have to go back and see what type of actual catalytic converter was placed on that vehicle and try and trace it back to the vehicle it was stolen off of.

While police say drug addicts are most frequently found responsible for the thefts, the treasure in the exhaust system is rich enough that it can lure some surprising culprits.

In December, a former member of the Board of Aldermen in Arlington, Tenn., was arrested after Shelby County sheriff's deputies found him tucked under a Buick station wagon. The man, co-owner of an auto parts store in town, was trying to steal catalytic converters from vehicles in the Tennessee Highway Patrol's own impound lot, deputies said.

If catalytic converters are so valuable that people will actually try to steal them from the cops, what does that mean for everyday car owners?

Unless you can garage your vehicle 24 hours a day, anyone can climb under your car and cut off the catalytic converter,said Sgt. Bob Jagoe of the Baltimore County, Md., police auto theft team.

Harrisburg, Pa., police Chief Charles Kellar acknowledged: There is not a lot you can do. You have to go to sleep eventually.

NBC affiliates KHAS of Hastings, Neb.; KING
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23117250/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
429 Posts
I heard about this a year ago or so.... no offense for the find though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
900 Posts
If someone wants to take them, they can have them, just feel free to put some straight pipe in there in place, I don't want the restriction anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
974 Posts
Happened to one of my neighbors. I think it was a late 80's early 90's toyota pick up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,197 Posts
Most people pay someone to cut them off LOL. Really though, that's a sorry state. Imagine coming out of the grocery store and starting your car after that....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
663 Posts
holy crap!!! i have like 8 or nine sets laying around my familys farm from my uncles old demoderby/pure stock cars, i had no idea they were that valueable...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
We had this happen at our dealership. They only hit 2 vehicles that were there, but at the dealer across the street, they hit like 28 vehicles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
We had this happen at our dealership. They only hit 2 vehicles that were there, but at the dealer across the street, they hit like 28 vehicles.
uhhhh....why? unless i misunderstood it, aren't the precious metals in there created after the cats have been used for awhile? or am i dumb and those metals are what the cats are actually MADE of.

unless of course its a used car dealership...
 

·
Refrigerator Raider Hater
Joined
·
11,719 Posts
uhhhh....why? unless i misunderstood it, aren't the precious metals in there created after the cats have been used for awhile? or am i dumb and those metals are what the cats are actually MADE of.
Cats are manufactured with the metals mentioned. Those metals are the catalyst, not the product.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,407 Posts
This happend a few times at my dealership.Mainly the 4Runners and Tacomas.I didn't mind ordering in the replacements.It was a nice Commision check.


Also on my old 93 Toyota pick up I had,The exhaust rusted right at the converter flange and it fell off.So I straight piped it with $10 of pipe and clamps and took the converter in to recycle it.I got back $98.00 for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Where the **** are they getting $200 for a converter at? They fetch $25 for the big chev ones around here so they arent even worth jackin.All this made possible by cordless reciprocating saws :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
401 Posts
I had been making alot of extra money selling used cats (100% legally) that were replaced under warranty at my dealer to the scrap guy. Unfortunately, the manufacturer wised up to this and now wants ALL warranty cats returned.....oh well, it was nice while it lasted.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,645 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Reminder!

With warmer weather approaching the Sh1t bag scum bottom feeders :rant: will be out to steal your cats!

I got this email today from my office park security office:

LakePointe Office Park said:
Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 5:08 PM

Dear LakePointe Tenants,

Over the past few days, we’ve received reports of 3 incidents where catalytic converters were stolen from under a pickup truck or SUV. This is an increasingly common incident in the Charlotte area and CMPD says it only takes about 60 seconds for a thief with a cordless saw to remove this section of a vehicle’s exhaust system.

This email is to request your assistance with increased community awareness and communications with our office. Please remind your staff to remain diligent by not leaving valuables in parked vehicles and most importantly – ask them to report ANY suspicious individuals or activities to the LakePointe Management Office. If someone witnesses a crime in progress, please ask them NOT to confront the perpetrator but to dial 911.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with Childress Klein’s local security director – please do not hesitate to contact your property manager or the LakePointe Management Office. If you have a security manager or another contact that would like to participate in our Coliseum Area Crime Prevention Council, please let us know.

Thank you for your continued support of our community.

Michelle Starks

Tenant Services Coordinator
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
I'm with the other poster up ^ there. Take them, please, just replace them with a tube for me :) If the price ranges are right... maybe I should junk my three cats to pay for having a complete exhaust done?
 

·
Voice/Data Guru
Joined
·
7,814 Posts
OH Boy .i wish i could fine one under my cars, I would smach the dude like a bug or blow his head off with my 44 . Its been awhile sence i have poped a head with a bullet . Done that many times in the Gulf War in 91 :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
OH Boy .i wish i could fine one under my cars, I would smach the dude like a bug or blow his head off with my 44 . Its been awhile sence i have poped a head with a bullet . Done that many times in the Gulf War in 91 :)
I like his remedyto the problem. I had a guy this week asking if he could have my exhaust parts that were sitting out side I told him nope I am using them, he looked at me real funny and drove off I have had these things sitting around for 2 years and only one other guy has asked me that and he was in a tow truck and his truck said harolds salvage but needless to say I moved all of my cats inside the garage I have 15 or 16 of them out there in my garage now and I run catless all the time but now I am thinking of putting some magnaflows on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
lol yeah you can have it! But then you fail inspection lol.
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top