BEDFORD, N.Y. – An unknown suspect sawed off and stole a $300 car part right from under a van parked in a Bedford yard supply store Monday, Lt. Jeff Dickans of the Bedford Police Department said.
Catalytic converters, which filter harmful emissions in exhaust systems, have become a target for thieves in recent years because they are made of precious metals, like palladium, rhodium and platinum. Dickans said thieves often hit dozens of cars in an area, and then sell the part for scraps.
“This is kind of odd that it was one vehicle in one lot,” he said.
The precious metals sell for between $50 and $150 at scrap yards, but the part itself can cost hundreds of dollars to replace, according to a Daily News report. All cars have been required to have a catalytic converter since 1975.
“Someone literally cuts the catalytic converter out of your exhaust system using a saw or some sawing system,” Dickans said.
The victim, Mill River Supply, reported the theft at 9:35 p.m. Monday and told police it happened sometime between 4:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. The catalytic converter was stolen from a 2003 Dodge van.
The matter is an ongoing investigation.