Thieves Target Catalytic Converters

When an Omaha lawn service rolled out equipment for spring service calls workers didn't see that thieves had hit the company fleet. They heard it.

The loud muffler noise was caused by missing catalytic converters on six of the eight pickups.

Manager Shawn Melies said, "Very clean cuts. No hack saw involved here, it was definitely a motorized cutter."

Jim Champion of Charlie Graham Repair Service said thieves cut open the exhaust section like a coconut. He said "They're after the catalytic converter because its got precious metals inside."

Primarily Platinum that is selling for $1,700 an ounce. However a metals expert for DSS Coin and Bullion of Omaha said it would take a pickup load of catalytic converters to get any measurable amount of platinum. Thieves think it's a gold mine but really very little can be sifted from a catalytic converter.

Lawns Unlimited must spend about $700 to replace each catalytic converter on six pickups. That's tough on a small business said Melies.

Company is adding security cameras to discourage similar thefts in the future.

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