Brazen gentleman caught stealing dozens of catalytic converters – 6th time in one month

Originally published at: Brazen gentleman caught stealing dozens of catalytic converters – 6th time in one month | Boing Boing

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No consequences no change in behavior. Slap his wrist again…

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So electric cars won’t have this problem… Anyone know what the thieves will steal from EVs easily? :wink:

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it’s not for profit, the brazen gentleman just wants people to get more giddyup out of their rides. it’s a public service.

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Time to install drop-spikes around the skirts of vehicles that drop/lock when you park.

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Or maybe if they were really interested in stopping this particular kind of crime, they should figure out why he keeps committing it.

I mean, up here in PIT, it’s because meth. There are plenty of unscrupulous salvage yards that’ll take these, no questions asked. An old neighbor who used to part-time at one in his elder years had stories all the time about fools bringing whole shopping carts or other stuff like manhole covers and sewer grates.

If the guy has a drug problem, no amount of punishment is enough to make withdrawal symptoms go away, and if he gets really desperate, that’s when you start to have violent crimes against people.

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is there a way we can pitch in to keep him in jail?

I wonder if anybody’s done any kind of study about whether the explosion in prescribing d-amphetamine drugs for ADHD is related to the increase in methamphetamine as a drug of choice. Given that the opioid epidemic has been pretty convincingly traced back to the Sacklers and oxycontin as a primary cause, I wonder what other hidden-in-plain-sight causes there are for drug-abuse epidemics.

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These guys are slick and shady. My kids step-dad got his stolen from his Honda Element. Their cameras alerted them to activity and he even yelled at them out of the window, but they were gone with the converter before you could really do anything.

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Strangely enough we can blame technology advancement in tools on this. New cordless saws with carbide blades can rip through the pipes in seconds. This was a 5 minute job 10 years ago and is less than a minute now.

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Meh, that’s awesome they make nice cordless saws. Just don’t be a dick with them.

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Truly gormless engineering question: Is there any unavoidable reason these sources of valuable substances can’t be positioned in far less accessible regions of a car? (“Hot exhaust pipe, can’t put it under the passenger seat you @#$! idiot you!” ok… but somewhere inside the engine compartment? “Next to all that vaporized gasoline you @#$ you!?” rinse-lather…)

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People do make “cages” to restrict access to them. But it isn’t standard because, of course, it ads cost. Would also be a night mare to remove if you had to replace it for other reasons.

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He said those converters can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000 to replace.

My understanding is that if someone takes a saw to the bottom of your car to remove the catalytic converter, the cost to repair the damage done can be more than the cost of replacing the converter. Which is part of why it’s so maddening - victims are left with a huge bill so thieves can get a fraction of the value of the converter itself.

Not batteries. The CC is basically sitting outside the car, and just needs to be detached from the bottom (which can be thwarted with a simple add-on). Batteries are at least inside the car and require breaking in, which is a different proposition.

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Because the honeycomb inside a catalytic converter needs to get very very hot to do its job. It needs to be located somewhere well ventilated where the heat won’t cause other problems.

And the rare earth metals inside are, well, rare. Platinum, rhodium, palladium, anything that’s known to be effective as a catalyst is unfortunately crazy expensive, and therefore valuable to thieves. Platinum is currently selling for $1000/oz, palladium is twice that, and rhodium is listed at $11,000/oz. If a thief can recover roughly 5 grams from one converter, they can steal thousands of dollars worth in a day.

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Wheels. Same as with any other type of car.

@Shuck: The thieves are cutting the exhaust pipes beyond the bolts at the flange for the cat, so yes, it’s an expensive repair for the car owners because they have to replace the pipe from the exhaust manifold to the cat, the cat itself, then the pipe from the cat to the muffler. All that happens after paying for a tow, which can be kinda pricy, too.

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There’s got to be fewer crooked salvage yards taking these than there are thieves. If law enforcement was serious about stopping this (and I’m sure they aren’t) then it seems like a couple of undercover sting operations could shut these guys down and dry up the demand in any given area pretty quickly.

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Life Day dinner must be a bit awkward at the Fett home, what with uncle Kenny always asking why Boba can’t get into a more respectable line of business like his half brother, Jason.

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There are several companies offering catalytic converter cages. Here’s a DIY cage; not pretty… but definitely intimidating:

image

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