Metal prices = stolen cats


New crime rage around here, stealing catalytic converters off cars in parking lots in broad daylight, using battery powered metal saws to do so. Apparently thieves can saw the cat from a car in amazingly brief time.

Other than being extremely careful about where one leaves a car parked and keeping it in a closed/locked garage at home at night, any way to thwart this?

I’ve not been hit but literally dozens of commuters and shoppers have in my area the past few weeks.


P.S. Of course, the same low lifes are stealing metal statues and copper guttering from old churches as well as stripping anything metal from anywhere they can steal it! Already had one house blow up when the copper gas pipes were stripped from an empty house up for sale!!!


Can’t you just see it now: security systems on vehicles to warn of cat thieves!


Yep! Sad how some people never learned to leave alone what isn’t theirs.


When/if they ever steal mine, I’m going to straight pipe it and forget about it.

These metal thieves around here are stealing people blind to pay for their dope and the law and waste of breath court system won’t do a diddlin darn thing about it, so be durned if I’m got to pay to replace $1500 worth of catalytic converter because some crook they’ve let go 40 times stole it.

They could easily put a stop to this crap if they wanted to but they don’t. The easy stop to it would be to go after the buyers for receiving stolen property which is a crime. They don’t appear to be going to do that so they needn’t expect me to pay out the wazoo to fix something my truck doesn’t need to start with.

Our thieves here stole the TV cable trunk line over a 7 or 8 mile stretch one night, they are climbing utility poles and cutting the ground wire off them to steal it. There have been multiple thieves fried stealing wire out of utility substations around here. They are stealing pipe out of houses, air conditioners off of churches and any other metal they can find. I saw a nice set of disc harrows the other day on the way to the scrap yard, and you have to wonder where they got those from?



Yeah the metal thieves have been breaking into homes around here in broad daylight to strip any and every bit of metal out of them they can including stealing military war medals. Like you point out, when someone shows up with such questionable items at the recycling plants you have to know something crooked is going on!


As I recall you have an Impala. From what I’ve read these theives primarily target trucks and SUV’s as they have a higher ground clearance and as such are easier to crawl under with their tools. Your Impala would be a much more difficult target. I hear the Toyota pickups are targeted most frequently because their converters have a high platinum content and are easily accessed from underneath (and easily removed with just a socket wrench). I also understand that there are some companies selling cages you can install around the converter to make them extremely difficult to steal.


I’d like to seem them try get mine. My mustang has an off-road X-pipe, no cats. My Bronco just has headers no, mufflers, no cats. And my TR6 never had cats to begin with.


This subject has been raised before here but just for everyones sake could you give us the approximate location of the activity?


Thanks Steve, I’ll not waste time worrying then and just use my normal caution in when and where I park. Oh the other hand, I suppose my friend with a shiny red Dodge Ram 2500 can do the worrying!


St. Louis, Missouri metro region. Metal thieves are like a plague of locusts.

We also have the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of meth labs in the country in two neighboring/bordering rural counties.

Makes one feel rather disgusted with much of the human race. Sigh.


I hear you Marnet. Thanks for the heads up.

I don’t live in the US but wanted to make people aware.


There’s been a rash of metal thefts here too although not so much with converters.
About 2 weeks ago a couple of guys stole a converter from me while I was physically there. These guys had been told I might have a project car for sale and on the way out to look at it one of them noticed a converter leaning against the wall and asked what it fit. We moved on and the guy made an offer on the car with a promise to be back on the weekend to get the car. They left and I’m happy to (potentially) make a little money on the deal.
Ten minutes later I notice the converter is missing and these guys have disappeared off the face of the earth. Obviously the one guy’s buddy heisted it while my back was turned. The one good thing is that in a roundabout way I may have a feeler on determining who these guys are and hopefully I’ll be paying a visit.

There’s been a number of new homes here stripped of copper pipe and they’ve even stripped wire out of a few electrical substations.
Last fall someone near here went and pulled half a mile of freshly planted telephone cable out of the ground.
It’s near impossible to stop them if they want it badly enough.

Marnet, you mention meth labs and that has been a problem in OK. Some people we know are lifelong farmers and own several plots of farmland. On one of their outlying properties they HAD a large old wooden barn. They discovered that some people from in town were coming out there and using the barn to cook meth in and ripping beams out of the barn to use in the fire.
By the time the sheriff showed up due to reports of suspicious activity the druggies were long gone.
Eventually so many beams were ripped out due to repeated drug cookings that the barn simply collapsed one day.

Another problem here in the small outlying farm towns is the theft of anhydrous ammonia fertilizer which is used in the manufacture of illegal drugs. They’ve caught a few in the act but most get away. :frowning:


ok4450, same problems here. The farmers have been losing their minds as well as tons of money dealing with the fertilizer thefts, illegal activity on their properties, and the resultant property and crop damages.

What’s truly scary, as I mentioned in a post above, theives stripping copper pipes from houses don’t care if they pull active natural gas pipes, creating the type of massive leak resulting in the house blowing sky high shortly afterwards.

With these punks brazenly breaking into occupied homes, let’s just say I’m glad to have inherited a very good shotgun.


Better keep it close by, cause they might just steal that too :stuck_out_tongue:


I live in a small rural town and don’t have much of a problem with thieves but I also keep about half a dozen loaded firearms handy. The county sheriff is half an hour away if they respond instantly and at high speed but the norm is 1 to 2 hours.

Somewhat funny story. I used to live in Oklahoma City and had a pair of large St. Bernards that sounded a lot meaner than they actually were. The back garage door (fenced yard with high chain link) used to be left ajar about 1/3 of the way and this allowed the dogs to enter the garage where they preferred to sleep.

It appears that someone discovered I had a lot of tools in the garage along with several valuable antique motorcycles, etc. while not knowing about the dogs.
One night about 2 in the morning a huge crash woke me up with the bedroom window shaking, etc. My first thought was “thief”. The dogs were barking and I ran through the house in my underwear while taking the safety off the shotgun.
The burglar was running for his life. I could actually hear his feet hitting the ground and a panic stricken moaning as I ran through the house. By the time I hit the back yard this guy had apparently high jumped a 6 foot high chain link fence while leaving some bits of clothing and blood on the fence. Both dogs were hanging by their front legs off the top of the fence and barking like crazed killers.

That forever ended any theft attempts although the thief did break the glass out of the back door and the door facing in his hurry to get out of the garage when the dogs cut loose in the dark on him.
It was about a 140 feet from the door to the fence and this guy must have covered it in 4 seconds flat.
(If the guy had stopped and whistled the dogs would have been ready to play.) :slight_smile:


I just had my converter replaced. Your discussion makes me wish I’d asked for the old one back. Who knew I was letting go of such a precious commodity? I obviously need to educate myself a little more.