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New NC law targets catalytic converter thefts; what you can do to protect yourself

Catalytic converters — muffler-shaped devices that change carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and other toxic gases into less-harmful ones — have become a favorite target of thieves. That’s because prices for the metals that make the converters work — platinum, palladium and rhodium — have gone up significantly in recent years.

“The catalytic converter is becoming more and more popular to steal due to the value of the precious metals inside,” says Bryce Merold, a detective with the Raleigh Police Department.

Catalytic converter thefts nationwide grew from 108 a month on average in 2018 to 282 a month in 2019 and 1,203 a month last year, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Replacing one, the organization says, can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000.

In Cary, catalytic converter thefts began to rise last September, said police Lt. John Reeves, and have remained high. After handling 39 theft reports in 2020, Cary police have already responded to 70 so far this year, Reeves said.

Click here to read the full article in the News & Observer which features Recycling Association of North Carolina's President Jeremy Alper.

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