Police seeing an increase in catalytic converter thefts

BY DI STAFF | JULY 16, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa City area has seen a number of catalytic-converter thefts from vehicles recently; the police are investigating.

According to an Iowa City police press release, police officials believe the parts are being sold for scrap. The thefts can be attributed to the increased price of precious metals, according to Nationwide Insurance.

The converters contain enough metal to be sold at scrap yards for approximately $100 to $150, the release said. The higher the vehicle's frame is from the ground, the greater the risk.

"A lot of people are surprised by this crime, because they aren't hearing much about it in the media," said Mike Ekiss, associate vice president of farm/agribusiness and loss control for Nationwide. "But the threat to small businesses is real, and it could cost you if you don't take precautions."

According to the release, the thefts occur when vehicles are parked for long periods of time in larger parking lots.

— by Jordyn Reiland

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