PICKAWAY – A local Pickaway business owner says he’s been targeted for possible converter theft for the third time in a year.
On Christmas eve a Pickaway business owner was maced after finding a man red-handed at his business stealing items. When he chased after the suspect he was maced, a 911 call was made and when Pickaway county Sheriff Department arrived on the scene they attempted to arrest a man who ran from them.
“He was cutting converters off the cars in my back lot, he had grabbed items from inside the cars, and broken into my building to steal tools.”
Fast forward to January 5, 2021, and the same business owner was hit again along with businesses around him. Again the thieves were aimed at cutting converters off vehicles.
This week his security cameras went off when a truck started snooping out lots in the area again.
“They were just looking under the vehicles and in them until the alarms went off when they got too close to my building, said Tim Spaulding owner of Tims Transmission repair on US-23 in Pickaway County.
Why converters you ask? Well, converter theft has been a known aim for thieves for years, but we have seen an incline in it lately with a higher price of metals.
Cats, as they are referred to include rare earth metals that are worth more per ounce than gold, Palladium, and Rhodium both these metals are worth thousands per ounce. Converters only have small amounts of metal in them to work properly but it’s enough to make the cats worth about fifty to several hundred bucks each based on converters. It also only takes a pipe cutter and just a little bit of time to remove one.
Thieves target small local repair shops, and places without of way locations for the quick grab, that can cost vehicle owners hundreds to replace.