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Metal prices drive catalytic converter thefts in Georgia

File photo of catalytic converter

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – Soaring prices for precious metals contained in some auto components is driving a rash of thefts in coastal Georgia.

Police say 18 catalytic converters have been stolen from three truck rental companies in Brunswick in recent weeks.

Thieves are apparently trying to extract the palladium, rhodium and platinum from the catalytic converters, which help filter and clean up auto emissions. Because they contain those metals, catalytic converters can be worth hundreds of dollars when sold to scrap dealers and recyclers.

Brunswick Police Lt. Jose Galdamez says the catalytic converters stolen were worth a combined $20,000. Trucks are easy targets because they’re high off the ground, meaning thieves can reach the catalytic converter easily and saw it off.