ADAMS, Mass. (NEWS10) — On Sunday, Adams Police received multiple reports that a catalytic converter had been taken off a car at a local business. Upon arrival, officers were able to quickly identify a suspect based on the information gathered.
An area search was conducted, and the vehicle and suspect were located at an Adams residence, police said. According to Adams Police, the suspect has been arrested and the stolen catalytic converter has been recovered.
The suspect is yet to be identified. Adams Police said the entire investigation, from when the incident was first reported until the time of the arrest, was just under a half hour.
Catalytic converter theft has become much more common over the past few years. In 2018, there were 1,298 thefts reported nationwide according to date collected by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. By 2020, this number grew to 14,433.
The three precious metals that are often used in catalytic converters—platinum, palladium, and rhodium—sell for high prices, making the car parts an appealing target for theft. When a catalytic converter is stolen, these precious metals can be recovered and sold. There are some companies that will purchase converters and pay anywhere from $140 to $1,500.
Converters are also easy for many thieves to steal, with an experienced thief often able to remove a converter within minutes with the help of tools found at the hardware store, according to Allstate.
Newer and more advanced models of converters, such as those in hybrid cars, are highly targeted because they contain more precious metals. Thieves may also be more likely to target taller cars that are easier to get underneath.