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West Palm Beach auto shop owner warns of catalytic converter thefts

Posted at 7:47 AM, Jul 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-19 07:47:17-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A local auto shop owner wants to warn people about catalytic converter thefts and what you can do to try to prevent them.

Ron Katz, owner of Midas Auto in West Palm Beach, has had to find a new way to protect this valuable part from being stolen, but has not been successful.

"We actually put cages on them that had airplane wire — that was a very thick metal wire — and it looks like they figured out how to cut it off with a plasma cutter or some kind of tool," Katz said.

There has been an increase in catalytic converters thefts, especially on bigger SUVs, vans, and commercial trucks because they sit higher off the ground, making it easier for thieves to slide under the vehicle.

Within minutes, this part can be removed, and its value is what draws the thieves in.

"There are chemicals inside that make it very valuable,” Katz said. “They can get anywhere from $75 to $300, $400 for each one when they are sold on the black market.”

Katz added that the best advice he can give to prevent these thefts, even with the cages, is to park under a light and in a crowded area.