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Thefts of catalytic converters on the rise

Thefts of catalytic converters on the rise



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Authorities throughout the Salt Lake Valley say they're looking at new ways to try to stop a surging number of thefts of metals and catalytic converters.

It could reach into the hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars. Catalytic converters are being ripped out of vehicles; especially Japanese made SUVs, and sold for scrap metal.

Deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney Fred Burmester says, "They are looking for easy access so they can quickly get underneath the car. So, it's usually a car higher off the ground."

Burmester says they've been meeting with recyclers, who he says are trying to do a legitimate business. The problem is, right now, there's no way to trace the parts to a theft.

He says authorities are working to change that by possibly requiring some kind of markers. They're also trying to spread the word more quickly to recyclers when the parts are stolen.

Burmester says some recyclers will no longer take catalytic converters because of issues with thefts. He says there is also some talk about changing Utah law to require metal recyclers to work under rules similar to pawn shops, which are required to take a fingerprint from property sellers.

E-mail: mgiauque@ksl.com

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Utah
Marc Giauque

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