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Royal Oak sees rash of auto catalytic converter thefts

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Royal Oak — Police report at least five catalytic converters have been stolen from parked vehicles in this city in recent weeks.

The converter, which is part of the exhaust system, has been a popular target of metal thieves because they can be easily and quickly unbolted or cut away and then sold to a metals dealer for between $50 and $250.

Because the parts do not carry any identification numbers, unless engraved by vehicle owners, it can be difficult to link a part with a theft.

Sgt. Don Swiatkowski reports the Royal Oak thefts occurred July 21 in the 1000 block of East Sixth Street; two thefts in the 600 and 1000 blocks of East Windemere on July 24; another in the 2200 block of North Connecticut, also July 24; and one in the 2100 block of Kalama on Monday.

Most of the thefts were discovered in the morning when the owners said their engines either malfunctioned or sounded different, police said.

Replacement of converters, even with insurance, can run into hundreds of dollars.

Some muffler shops sell anti-theft devices or will weld metal onto the part to deter thieves.

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