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Catalytic converter thieves strike in county

May 11, 2011

Catawba County sheriff's deputies seek help to locate catalytic converter thieves.

A spree that was occurring in Iredell and Alexander counties made its way to Catawba County recently, when at least three catalytic converters were stolen.

Most recently, a vehicle catalytic converter, valued at $200, was stolen from the 8200 block of Long Island Road in Catawba and another was reported stolen from the 8400 block of Long Island Road, valued at $665.

Capt. Joel Fish said the catalytic converters are most likely used for its metals.

"The catalytic converters contain a small amount of precious metals, and people can get money for them," Fish said.

The suspects are using a tool that enables the converter to be removed in 30 seconds. Fish said the tool is some sort of saw or cutting utensil, but was not created for this crime.

The catalytic converter is part of an exhaust system on a vehicle and is used to reduce emissions from the engine.

Fish said sheriff's deputies are working with Iredell and Alexander sheriff's departments in the investigation. Anyone with information on the incidents is asked to call (828) 478-1178.

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