Catalytic converter thefts on the rise

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Police warn car owners that thieves are making rounds to area parking lots and are scrapping parts from parked cars.

According  to police over the last two to three months they've seen a spike in catalytic converter thefts due to the fact that the price for scrap metal is increasing.

"Unfortunately it is fairly simple to do," said Captain Mike Richey, who's in charge of the criminal investigation department for Greensboro Police.

Richey said thieves usually don't get more than $100 for the scrap metal, which is hundreds of dollars shy of what it costs for owners to replace the part.

When Hannah Bouchard's catalytic converter was stolen, it cost about $300 to repair and replace.

"It's been very stressful. I didn't know what I was going to do. I missed work," said Bouchard who's catalytic converter was stolen while parked in the Thomasville Medical Center parking lot, in broad daylight.

Captain  Richey stresses public vigilance to decrease the opportunities for thieves. Crooks normally target car dealerships, or lots with several large vehicles. Richey warned that owners with smaller cars have become victims too.

Richey cautions drivers to look out for suspicious behavior, especially at night in parking lots full of cars.

Richey reminds drivers to never hesitate to call the police if things don't seem quite right.

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