Thieves target catalytic converters for precious metals

When I first heard about this type of theft a couple months ago, I thought it was an isolated incident. But in the last month I've found reports from Florida, Louisana, Tennessee and Michigan of similar actions: thieves are cutting out the catalytic converters on late-model vehicles to get at the platinum and rhodium. Likely victims are fullsize SUVs or trucks because of the higher ground clearance, giving the thief plenty of room to crawl under with a hacksaw. The irony is that there may be only $20 or $30 worth of the precious metals in any given converter, but it will cost the dealer or owner of the vehicle $1,000 to $1,500 to replace one. It seems a better scam would be to leave a ransom note and sell the converter back for a couple hundred. My question is: even if you do melt down a 100 converters and recover the metal, where does someone go to fence off an ounce of platinum?

[Source: Kristin Smith / First Coast News]

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