Catalytic converter theft on the rise in Chicago area - FOX 10 News |

Catalytic converter theft on the rise in Chicago area

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Thieves are stealing expensive parts from parked cars all over the Chicago area. What parts are being ripped off? Catalytic converters, tailpipes, mufflers and other major pieces.

Police in the city, Orland Park, Aurora, Naperville and Skokie are seeing an increase in this specific crime, because the metal in these car parts - specifically catalytic converters - can be worth a ton of cold, hard cash. In Naperville, they saw seven thefts in ten days.

It takes thieves less than two minutes to get an expensive piece of your car, while you're parked at work. Police say one person is a lookout, while others remove the part.

They are trolling parking lots, removing catalytic converters from underneath cars, leaving drivers stranded. It's happening at retail business employee parking lots, commuter train stations and car dealerships.

Crews can get away with dozens at a time and sell them to scrap metal yards for $100-$150 a piece, because they have things like platinum inside. For the car owner, a repair costs more than $1,000.

FOX 32 News reports from an Orland Park garage, where a mechanic lent his expert opinion to explain how you can protect yourself from theft and major inconvenience to your wallet and your time.

Mike Olenic at TRS Automotive has replaced many and noticed an increase in this repair.

Police advise motorists to park in busy, well lit areas or near a busy road. But all vehicles are vulnerable.

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