Car Thieves Target Catalytic Converters

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Local Chicago's Channel 2 News reported tonight thieves are now sliding under cars with a battery operated Saws-All and are cutting the Catalytic Converters out of the exhaust systems and selling them for
scrap. Cars 1975 and newer are effected.
Catalytic Converters now contain a variety of precious metals such as titanium, platinum and porcelain which has driven up the scrap cost which prompts thieves to steal them.
A Gurnee, Illinois Subaru dealer had 43 converters stolen new this past week. Damage is estimated at $43,000
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Hey, Harry Face, are your and my GM convertors worth anything? At a grand each, I may just start culling my 'collection'--how about you? I remember the earlier ones in 75, 76 & 77 we were removing OR 'rendering them inoperative'(gutting them)and giving some away. IIRC the 75-76's did well after surgery; however, beginning in '77, some cars ran poorly afterwards. sdlomi2
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Yeah, a grand each to replace, probably $10 in the junk yard.
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That be a stupid junkyard man.... I get $50CA each for defective cats. There's a truck comes around about every six months or so and the guy buys old rads and catalytic converters and such....
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Is it illegal in Canada for salvage yards to sell used cat. convertors to individuals? s
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I have heard that the old big ones are worth a lot.

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Harry Face wrote:

Next it will arms, legs, and livers Harry, thanks to battery operated saws-alls.
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Porcelain is a precious metal?? I'm pawning my toilet!!
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Umm, porcelain isn't a metal, it's a ceramic! The value is in the platinum.
Steve R.
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Maybe we could all pull together our old Platinum Spark Plugs and help fight aids in africa.

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Actually, aircraft spark plugs are recycled to recover the platinum. It's almost 10 years since I acquired some used ones. They were worth $35.00 Canadian each. So why did I want them? One of my hobbies is making miniature engines, including working spark plugs. Over the last few years, a small 5 cylinder radial aircraft engine has been on the drawing board. Hopefully it will have scale looking spark plugs.
Steve R.
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abomb69 wrote:

That'd work way better than condoms but who will force the plugs in their "holes"? GW
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This really stinks, because, not only do they have to replace the cats, but they probably also have to replace the pipes and maybe some of the sensors or wiring going to or in the cats. Not to mention that they may have done other damage under the cars.
Many scrap yards won't take scrap in quantity unless they know the people or get info about the people (like name and address). They are quite well aware that people steel piles of new pipes from construction sites, and other recyclable materials. Hopefully, the people who stole this won't be able to sell them.
Jeff
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but
A little off topic, but reminds me of a situation we had crop up several years ago.
There was a scam that was run in Houston back in the 80's by low-lifes stealing cars (my Fiero was one of them) and shucking out the bucket seats.
They sold the seats to wrecking yards, which held them until the next insurance company case needed them. Those seats, new, cost a couple thousand for the set, and the insurance company would okay a cheaper and more expeditive solution from the wrecking yards.
It was just a big circle. I guess finally the insurance companies wised up and stopped accepting used seats, and to punctuate the sentence, an irate owner or two caught people trying to steal their cars, and shot them dead.
If I caught a guy under my car with a SawZall, I might feel tempted.
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It doesn't seem like many insurance claims would require replacement seats. An accident that causes seats to be damaged probably junks the whole car.
Lee
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Lee C. Carpenter wrote:

Vandalism?
Take care.
Ken
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I suppose it would be one of the main reasons, although still infrequent.
Lee
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Did you guys miss the whole point of that story? The point was the insurance companies of the THEFT VICTIMS had to buy seats because of THEFT. The main market for stolen seats is to people whose seats were stolen.
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THEFT.
Thanks Joe. I think some did not get the gist of what was happening.
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seats.
You're right...seldom were honest bucket seats available at a wrecking yard.
This was a case of create the demand first, and then supply the demand (with the victimss own bucket seats from a wrecking yard)
These were usually rather new cars, with upmarket nice bucket seats. I think we paid about $10,000 for the Fiero in 1984. $2000 wouldnt be enough to total the car out.
And there were no accidents involved, of course. A large number of seat thefts started this thing running.
These guys bilked the insurance companies for a lot of money. If the police and insurance companies had worked together, they could have gotten this stopped a lot sooner than they did.
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