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Catalytic converter thefts on the rise

Posted: May 25, 2012 1:45 p.m.
Updated: May 25, 2012 1:45 p.m.

Thieves have ripped of the catalytic converters from at least seven cars in the Santa Clarita Valley since May 1, a Sheriff's Department official said Friday.

"We believe they're being stolen because of the metals inside the catalytic converter," sheriff's Sgt. Rich Nagler said. "Those metals are valuable."

The thieves are most likely recycling the converters or trying to sell them outright on online auction sites, Nagler said.

Six of the reported catalytic converter thefts this month took place in Canyon Country and one was in Newhall, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Since Jan. 1, detectives assigned to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station have investigated 15 reports of stolen converters, the release said.

Specifically, thieves are targeting Toyota SUVs, Nagler said.

In Canyon Country, thieves stole the catalytic converter attached to a black 1994 Toyota 4Runner between 10 a.m. May 19 and 11 a.m. May 20.

"It looked to be unbolted from one end and cut from the other," a deputy said in a Sheriff's Department report. The stolen converter is worth an estimated $250, the report said.

Also in Canyon Country, thieves stole the catalytic converter attached to a white 1989 Toyota SR5 truck parked in front of a home between noon May 13 and 1 p.m. May 20, according to another sheriff's report.

A catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that converts toxic chemicals in the exhaust of an internal combustion engine into less toxic substances.




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