Pontiac Police responded to a theft of a catalytic converter. The catalytic converter had been cut off the underside of a Toyota 4Runner while parked at Wal-Mart on November 10th between 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm. While this is the first case Pontiac Police have taken, these thefts have become more prominent around the state and country.
The target vehicles are typically high setting vehicles such as SUV's and trucks and usually parked for prolonged periods. The catalytic converter is part of the exhaust system that renders toxic gasses such as carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons into less harmful emissions. Often the catalytic converter can be cut off with a battery powered saw in a couple of minutes. The catalytic converter is targeted for its resale/scrapping value because it typically contains an amount of precious metals such as platinum, palladium or rhodium that act as catalysts.
The cost of replacement can be roughly from $400 to $2000. The best suggested methods of theft prevention include parking in a well lit area, having a protective cage installed around the catalytic converter, engraving your license plate number on the converter and visiting your local auto parts store to learn of other deterrent systems available.