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There's Platinum in Them Catalytic Coverters!
July 09, 2008

Modern Day Prospectors Targeting a Car Near You

News from Cincinnati and around the country is that thieves have been stealing catalytic converts for their platinum and palladium. They slip under parked cars and use portable power saws, probably something like a reciprocating Sawzall to cut out the converts in a matter on just a few minutes. Apparently scarp yards and chop shops are paying about $50 to $100 per converter, based on today's precious metal spot prices.

This kind of theft has been occurring for some time now in the base metals categories. Copper piping and copper wire, sewer grates and manhole covers all have been at risk, as thieves cash in on the rising prices at scrap yards.

This is the first report I have noticed on any precious metals risks of street theft however, but I am sure it could be an ever growing problem. Better keep an eye out for troubles of this sort in your area. Some areas are beginning to offer solutions, like serial numbers on your converter. Replacing a catalytic converter can cost between $500 and $1000, depending on make, model and aftermarket or original manufacturer source.

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About the Author
Tom Michael has been Krause Publications primary market analyst on more than 80 world and United States coin catalogs produced over the last 20 years. He came to KP in 1987 with a bachelor of arts degree in history, a master of arts degree in economics and a history of coin collecting stretching back to the 1960s. He began collecting world coins as a child by asking friends and relatives to bring coins back from overseas trips, visiting flea markets and having his mother watch for foreign coins in her register at the local grocery store. Today he works with a dedicated base of over 200 contributors to provide accurate market values for the five-volume Standard Catalog of World Coins series, as well as many specialty catalogs, including Coins & Currency of the Middle East and the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins.

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