Catalytic converters hot item for thieves

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- A case of a stolen catalytic converter highlights the continuing issue of thieves taking these for a quick buck. They are targeting a new brand pretty heavily; Honda.

They're after imports and one victim, NewsChannel 4 spoke with, says his Honda is just the latest case.

Kurt McDaniel just wanted to get his wife some new tires at the bike shop, but a 15 minute errand left him a victim of a crime.

Kurt McDaniel says, "I started the car and it sounded like my muffler had fallen off. So I peeked underneath the hood, and sure enough, they had cut my catalytic converter out."

McDaniel says he knows it happened in the parking lot. It was a quick cut and grab that will cost him more than $2,000 bucks.

"There were filings on the ground from where they had cut it. And it had to have happened here, because I just left Whole Foods," McDaniel says.

Catalytic converters are popular at scrap metal yards like Metal Check in south Oklahoma City.

Michael Hernandez of Metal Check says, "The reason why they are so popular is because they have rhodium and platinum inside the converter."

Metal check gets about 100 of these for scrap a day, but workers require a VIN number of the converter to match proof of ownership with the documents.

Not every place scrutinizes the merchandise and thieves know it. For McDaniel, it's no comfort. He's still thinking about that hefty bill.

McDaniel says, "I called my dealer who normally does my work, they say they have seen five this month, and that they are targeting Honda elements."

And his will be the next one in line for repair work.

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