The St. Charles Police Department is investigating the thefts of catalytic converters and their surrounding exhaust pipes from several trucks parked at two Dean Street businesses.
The thefts were reported Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, from two businesses on the 1800 block of Dean Street. According to police, , initially reported two Ford truck had had their mufflers stolen, but the officer checked and found the mufflers were still in place. The catalytic converters had been removed, along with the attached exhaust pipes. The officer then checked the lot and discovered a Chevrolet truck registered to Union Electric Co., 1860 Dean St., also was missing a catalytic converter.
All the thefts were believed to have occurred between Feb. 14 and Feb. 21, 2013.
Catalytic converters contain a number of precious metals whose values have risen in recent years, making the devices, part of the vehicle’s emissions control system, a popular target for thieves, who sell the parts for scrap, according to AnswerBag.com. Those metals, which include platinum, palladium, and rhodium, make the converters worth from $20 to $250, depending on the specific type.
AnswerBag.com states that a refiner can extract the precious metals from the devices and sell them back to manufacturers for as much as $6,000 an ounce.
Trucks and sport utility vehicles with high ground clearance are popular targets by thieves, AnswerBag.com reports.
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