Here's why these expensive car parts are being stolen in the North … – Record Searchlight

The Anderson Police Department is seeking the public’s help in solving a string of thefts involving particularly expensive car parts — sometimes costing more than $2,000 each — dating back to November 2020.
All four of the thefts happened between April 11 this year and Nov. 5, 2020 at various locations around Anderson, according to police.
In each of the cases, the thieves stole the vehicle’s catalytic converter, an emissions control device that is part of the exhaust system.
Here are the four thefts:
Mack Girtler, the service manager at Bryant Automotive in Redding, said catalytic converters are a fairly common theft item because they are so expensive to replace. And they are even more expensive on Japanese and Korean cars, he said.
A Toyota Prius catalytic converter can cost more than $2,000 just for the part and around $3,000 with parts and labor, he said.
So thieves sometimes steal them and then post them for sale online $200 or $300, Girtler said.
Vehicle owners “don’t want to pay $2,000 for new cat, so they go on eBay or Craigslist and they buy a catalytic converter for two or 300 bucks that may or may not have been installed on their own vehicle. And it just kind of perpetuates the cycle,” Girtler said.
But why the catalytic converter? Why not radiators, gas caps or wheels? What makes the catalytic converter so special?
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The converter uses expensive metals — platinum, palladium and rhodium — that drive up the price and send motorists online to find cheaper alternatives, Girtler said.
Rhodium alone costs about $28,000 an ounce, he said.
Since catalytic converters are expensive nationwide, the rash of thefts of the device is not limited to Anderson, he said. Dealers report problems filling catalytic converter orders for some vehicles, Girtler said.
“The Prius right now has a backorder catalog on their catalytic converters up to six weeks,” he said.
Yreka police said earlier this month they caught a thief with seven catalytic converters and tools used to cut the parts off cars.
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There’s been a number of recent catalytic converters thefts in the Yreka and surrounding area, police said.
Anyone with information on recent catalytic converter thefts is asked to contact Detective Steve Grashoff at (530) 378-6619. Tips can also be left on the APD tip line, 530-224-8435, or via email at
You can also message the Anderson Police Department Facebook page with information. The Anderson police dispatch phone line is 530-245-6526
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Damon Arthur is the Record Searchlight’s resources and environment reporter. He is among the first on the scene at breaking news incidents, reporting real time on Twitter at @damonarthur_RS. Damon is part of a dedicated team of journalists who investigate wrongdoing and find the unheard voices to tell the stories of the North State. He welcomes story tips at 530-338-8834 and Help local journalism thrive by subscribing today!


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