Thieves steal 20 more catalytic converters from auto dealer

Kyle Alspach

Thieves sawed catalytic converters from 20 sport utility vehicles at an auto dealer over the weekend, the most recent such thefts in the region.

Bourne's Auto Center on Route 123 near the Brockton line was struck on two separate occasions. The thieves cut off 10 catalytic converters each time, according to Jason Bourne, the company's vice president.

“It's a pretty big hit for us,” said Bourne, who estimated the converters will cost $500 apiece to replace.

Thieves have recently been targeting the emissions-control devices due to the rising value of precious metals found inside.

The Enterprise reported Monday that there were at least four previous thefts locally -- three in Brockton and one in Raynham -- in the past month. Thieves have been either stealing loose devices from auto parts shops or sawing them off vehicles.

In Easton, thieves removed catalytic converters from Acura MDX and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs, according to Bourne.

The first theft occurred early Saturday morning, and the second happened sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning, he said.

Easton Deputy Police Chief Allen Krajcik said it is the first time he has heard of catalytic converters being stolen in town. Police are investigating, he said.

A catalytic converter can often be re-sold for between $50 and $150, but sometimes they fetch nearly $300, local business people have said.

Three precious metals are found in the device -- platinum, palladium and rhodium.

The price of platinum has roughly doubled in the past two years, while the other metals have also increased in value, according to an owner of Precious Metals Reclaiming Service Co. of Westwood.

In the past month, thieves have struck Brockton Auto Parts on two occasions and stole 90 loose catalytic converters.

Two weeks ago, thieves sawed converters from 14 vehicles at the UHaul rental center in Brockton. One device was also cut from a vehicle recently at a bridge repair company in Raynham.

Kyle Alspach can be reached at kalspach@enterprisenews.com.