San Diego has increasingly facing catalytic converter thefts around the country. Allegedly, the stealing continues to plague the country’s drivers with a growing number every day.
A catalytic converter is placed at the bottom of the car, covert the pollutants of gas into non-toxic substances. The presence of costly metals like rhodium, platinum, and palladium makes it attractive for robbers to steal and sell them in black markets. With the help of simple tools like a snipping tool or a saw, anybody can rip it out in just a few minutes – said Tom Bussey, Oceanside cops spokesperson, when FOX started a thorough analysis on the ongoing theft trend around the country.
“Just the precious metals that are in the catalytic converter are worth about $30,000 an ounce,” said Dale Snow, car parts director at Mossy Toyota.
“Unfortunately for the last four to five months, we’ve seen a huge influx of these,” “This is our fifth one today…. We’re probably taking in 15 to 20 a week. It’s big! It’s sad!”, snow stated to NBC 7 while showing a car with stolen Catalytic Converter.
When local mechanics were asked about the growing trend of catalytic converter thefts, they said changing the catalytic converter for cars has become their routine task. They also added that hybrid cars from the 2000 model year, for instance, Priuses are commonly robbed because the blueprint of such cars makes its catalytic convertor more accessible. Not just that, it has more expensive metals than other cars have, thereby the crooks find them more appealing.
A mechanic named Todd Phillips, who works at Del Mar Auto, said, “How many get stolen every night in San Diego County? 100-150? I don’t know, but they can’t catch them all,”
He further said that the catalytic converters’ replacement cost can be a night terror for the country’s drivers, costing as much as $4000.
As per the San Diego authorities‘ statement, once the thieves successfully snag the catalytic converters, they sell them to online marketplaces like Offerup or Craiglist or sell them out in muffler stores.
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