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Multiple car part thefts caused Md. man to quit carpool

Reporters often focus on the most serious and violent crimes. But the response I’ve gotten from readers to a recent article on a rash of thefts of catalytic converters is a good reminder of how less-publicized property crimes disrupt the lives of so many people.

In an e-mail, reader Jim Scott told me:

I feel the pain of those hit by the catalytic converter thieves. I had two converters stolen from my Toyota pickup in the span of 3 months in 2006. My truck was parked in a Park & Ride lot in Davidsonville, Maryland. Total cost to replace both converters was $2,600.

Trucks and SUVs are often targeted because it's easier for thieves to shimmy underneath to saw out the catalytic converter. The car parts, which contain trace amounts of precious metals, including platinum and palladium, can be sold at a scrap yard.

Scott said he had joined a van pool to commute from Davidsonville to his job in Carderock. But after the double whammy theft he “reluctantly” gave it up and started driving the 100 mile round trip himself.

He thinks he's likely not alone. "I am sure that such thefts have made many commuters think twice about leaving their vehicles all day," Scott said.

Scott has since retired. But he remains among the victims of catalytic converter thieves who wants to see more surveillance cameras in commuter lots.

Does this story sound familiar to you? Let us know.

-- Maria Glod

By Maria Glod  |  January 26, 2010; 10:58 AM ET
Categories:  Anne Arundel , Maria Glod  
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About a year ago, our mechanic advised us that he was pulling our car into the shop overnight because thieves had been stealing converters from cars left in the parking lot, waiting for service. They had had 3 or 4 thefts, but there was nothing the police could do.

Posted by: koi123 | January 26, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

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