Thieves Steal Catalytic Converters From Cars In Living Community For Seniors – CBS Denver
ARVADA, Colorado (CBS4) – Residents of an elderly community in Arvada say thieves have stolen several catalytic converters from vehicles in the past month and a half. Last Tuesday, Connie Pope hopped in her car on her way to a doctor’s appointment. As she left her home in Columbine Village, she noticed a loud noise and thought it was a transmission issue.
“It sounded like a really loud Harley Davidson,” Pope said.
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Pope quickly called his son, who said the problem could be his catalytic converter. When she looked under her Jeep Liberty, these suspicions were confirmed.
“They went over there with a power saw or something and just cut everything,” Pope said.
According to Pope, catalytic converters were stolen from at least two other cars on the same day. A month earlier, neighbor Marv Slager had heard a similar noise when starting his Toyota 4Runner. He took it to a nearby mechanic, who confirmed that his catalytic converter was also missing.
“A new catalytic converter cost $ 2,995,” Slager said. “It was about $ 650 for labor.”
The theft of catalytic converters continues to be a growing problem in the Denver metro area and nationwide. It is a part present in every car, intended to reduce the toxic emissions of the exhaust gases.
Police said hybrid and full-scale CBS4 vehicles are the most targeted. Thieves are interested in the precious metals found inside the room.
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“Catalytic converters contain platinum, palladium and rhodium,” said Lt. Kevin Hines of the Denver Police Department. “To give you an idea of rhodium right now, it sells for $ 21,000 an ounce.”
This year, CBS4 has reported the issue on multiple occasions, including instances where schools and nonprofits have been targeted.
On Saturday, Denver Police teamed up with Lincoln Tech to prevent further by asking students to engrave the last eight digits of VIN numbers on the parts and then spray paint them in bright colors.
“Getting a VIN number on a catalytic converter is a good start,” Hines said. “Another good thing you could do is park in well-lit areas. Don’t leave your vehicle in long term parking, businesses, warehouses, things like that.
While Slager is now digging into her retirement money to pay for the new part, Pope is unsure where she will find the thousands of dollars.
“We are people aged 60 and over and we have a fixed income, so having to fix something like this is just devastating for us,” Pope said.
A spokesperson for the Arvada Police Department said the department was investigating the thefts with other agencies.
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“Find a job. I mean, don’t make us a victim. We just can’t afford it, ”Pope said.