Catalytic Converter Thefts

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Thieves hit a fleet of vehicles at a Lexington business, but they weren't after the actual vehicles or anything inside them, they wanted the catalytic converters.

It happened Tuesday morning at Accurate Tool and Manufacturing off Leestown Road.

The owner and employees tell 27 NEWSFIRST that they can't believe someone would actually cut something right off a vehicle.

Chris Harris, an employee at Accurate Tool and Manufacturing, says was on his way out to pick some parts up, when he noticed how much louder the engine was.

Harris says at first he thought it was a joke, until he checked the rest of the vehicles in the lot, and realized all the catalytic converters were gone.

Business owner Keith Pitts says catalytic converters are recyclable and the precious metals inside is what makes them attractive to thieves. Metals like palladium and platinum, which is worth $1000 an ounce, and rhodium which can be worth more than $6000 an ounce. But, there's not very much of those metals inside, and it would take quite a few converters to get even an ounce.

The damage to the vehicles carries a much higher price tag than the converter is worth.

Pitts said the three vehicles hit were all Toyotas. He thinks that's because Toyotas sit up higher off the ground, making the converters more accessible to thieves.

He said no other businesses in his area reported a theft, but everyone is going to be more aware from now on.

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