|The four catalytic converters that were left in the woods by the thief at Jeff Wyler Fort Thomas. Photo source: Fort Thomas Police Department|
One thief was caught on tape with a single backpack at his disposal, unbolting the catalytic converters one at a time from 2:15-5:30 AM that morning.
"Our employees started noticing some bolts laying on the ground on the back part of the lot," said Tom Gleason. "When we realized what happened, we called the (Fort Thomas) police immediately."
According to Gleason, the thief methodically separated the parts from the brand-new trucks and carried them to the woods off of I-471, where there was a hole in the fence. For whatever the reason, the alleged criminal was only able to get away with 1 of the catalytic converters, leaving the rest of them in the woods.
It is thought that these trucks were targeted for a number of reasons.
1) These trucks did not have beds and were high off the ground, which made the catalytic converters easier to access.
2) They were brand new, which made them more marketable to re-sell online or to a parts dealer.
3) Because they were heavy duty trucks, there is a larger amount of material if sold for scrap.
According to catalytic-converter.org – a private online scrap recycling service – a catalytic converter is part of a vehicle’s exhaust system, helping reduce the output of gas contaminants. They filter out incoming chemicals with the help of precious metals inside including platinum, palladium and rhodium.
Those are the materials that criminals are after.
Brand new catalytic converters can fetch around $500 on the open market and between $300-$400 at a scrapyard.
If you have any information about these thefts, please call Fort Thomas Police at 859.441.6562