These criminals higher not let the tree-huggers catch them.
Sawzall-wielding thieves hacking away at parked automobiles despatched thefts of a key pollution-cleaning half via the roof up to now 12 months.
By Oct. 10, 2,170 catalytic converters had been reported stolen within the 5 boroughs, greater than 4 instances the 501 ripped off via the identical date in 2020, the NYPD stated.
“The entire course of takes beneath two minutes,” Detective Thomas Kelly of the Auto Crimes Unit advised The Put up.
Catalytic converters, a part of a automobile’s exhaust system, break down a few of the smog that may in any other case come out the tailpipe.
They’re a thief magnet as a result of they embody uncommon metals like rhodium, palladium and platinum, which commerce for 4 and 5 figures per ounce. Converters sometimes embody 3 to 7 grams of those treasured metals, Ryan Lockwood, a Carparts.com govt, advised the Put up.
Thieves will take the components to smelters or scrapyards or promote them on the black market. They will value hundreds to interchange.
Toyota Priuses are specific targets as a result of they’ve as much as three “cats,” relying on the mannequin 12 months, and since low-emission automobile components are sometimes in higher situation. Honda’s CRV crossover is one other frequent goal, based on State Farm.
Auto Crimes Detective Thomas Burke stated it’s a troublesome crime to resolve, as a result of it’s unimaginable to hint a cat as soon as it’s eliminated. He collared one ordinary thief who focused Ford Econoline vans in Lengthy Island Metropolis by luck.
The criminal would journey round the neighborhood on a motorbike with a reciprocating noticed, hit a van, throw the half in his backpack and journey off. Cops caught him on surveillance video, and had been in a position to establish him. “Ought to he have been stopped two blocks away, not loads may have been performed,” Kelly stated.
Burke is beginning a program funded by the town’s Police Basis to label catalytic converters with serial numbers to allow them to be traced.
One youngish Brooklynite, who requested to not be recognized, stated his girlfriend’s “previous” Prius fell sufferer over the summer time. “We went to maneuver for alternate aspect parking, began it up, and it appeared like a monster truck,” he stated.
TIPS TO AVOID FALLING VICTIM:
- Storage your automobile.
- Keep away from leaving your automobile parked street-parked for prolonged intervals, particularly in dim areas with out cameras.
- Contemplate investing in a “cat protect.”
- Inscribe your VIN on the converter.
- Contemplate theft protection.