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Sioux Falls Police seeing increase in catalytic converter thefts

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 7:40 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - This past week, Sioux Falls police have received 14 reports of catalytic converters being stolen from vehicles across the city.

There have been somewhere between 40 and 50 reports made in the past month.

Police say it’s a relatively easy process to remove a vehicle’s catalytic converter.

“It probably takes a minute or two. They cut right through the pipe and they’re ready to go,” said Sam Clemens, the Public Information Officer for the Sioux Falls Police Department.

The thieves are likely turning the parts in for salvage value. A catalytic converter can fetch up to $500 depending on the location and type of converter. The parts are so valuable because of the precious metals platinum, palladium, and rhodium that are inside.

“I believe right now rhodium is trending over $20,000 an ounce,” said Shannon Nordstrom, the owner of Nordstrom Automotive.

The majority of these crimes have been committed in isolated locations, but reports have been scattered all throughout Sioux Falls.

Auto experts say save from parking inside a locked garage, there isn’t much a person can do to protect their converters.

“As far as protection, it’s just going to be, make sure you have good neighbors if they see something say something,” said Tommy Baker, a service adviser with Subaru Schulte in Sioux Falls.

A car can still run after a catalytic converter has been removed. However, it will be noticeable because the car will sound much louder.

If you or someone you know has had this part stolen you can report it by calling Crimestoppers at (877) 367-7007.

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