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Catalytic Converter Theft on the Rise Again

Catalytic Converter Theft On The Rise Again
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“It’s pretty unavoidable and that’s why it’s skyrocketing the way it is.”

Catalytic converter theft is on the rise again for vehicles in Grand Traverse County.

“In most of those cases, it’s occurring at a business that is closed and catalytic converters are being removed from vehicles that are at that closed business,” says Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Captain Chris Clark.

Blair and Green Lake Townships seem to be experiencing it the most.

“I know that in the fall, we experienced some of these similar thefts as well,” said Clark. “Obviously our community police officers that work in those townships, Blair and Green Lake, are currently working on these thefts, as well as our Detective Bureau.”

So what exactly is a catalytic converter? And why would anyone steal it?

“It’s attached to the exhaust system and it basically just converts the carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide and water vapor,” says Brandon Thirlby of Thirlby Automotives. “The precious metals inside actually act as a catalyst to turn it into carbon dioxide, rhodium and platinum.”

Those precious metals like rhodium can be worth ten times more than gold.

“If you have a police report, you can come into any Thirlby Automotive and we’ll sell it to you at no cost, because we feel bad, it’s actually happened to our own delivery vehicles,” says Thirlby.

As for now, Grand Traverse County is working to prevent more theft from happening, the best they can.

They say if you see any suspicious activity, to call 9-11.

“We will also be having our community police officers speak with businesses, you know, some best practices to ensure that when they are parking the vehicles outside, that it’s safer,” says Clark.