Car part thieves strike while victims are at work - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Car part thieves strike while victims are at work

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OLIVE BRANCH, MS -

(WMC-TV) – Hacks Cross Road just south of the state line in Olive Branch, Mississippi is lined with big factories filled with employees.

Police say their cars were sitting ducks Thursday when thieves removed a number of catalytic converters from two different parking lots.

"A hack saw, lay underneath the vehicle, it's two cuts," said Meineke manager Alisa Higgins. "I mean, it's an exhaust pipe."

The shop repaired one man's car Friday morning and showed Action News 5 a catalytic converter underneath a car as well as a couple of brand new ones.

The platinum filter inside the converter that cleans up exhaust, is what crooks are after.

"You can get from 30 to 150 dollars a piece for them," said Higgins. "Depending on who's selling them and how big they are. And some vehicles have more than one converter."

One victim told us he got off for the day, punched out, and got ready to go home. He noticed an extremely loud noise when he cranked his car.

"You know when your converter is cut out," said Higgins. "I mean, it sounds like a tank."

Converter thefts are nothing new. Action News 5 did a story a few months ago about an entire used car lot in Memphis falling victim. 13 were reportedly stolen from car lots in Forrest City, Arkansas just this week in addition to a day-care center.

"It's random, but it does happen," said Higgins.

It will continue to happen until laws tighten up on the people who buy the stolen parts.

It can cost up to 600 dollars to replace a stolen converter.

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