Grand theft muffler

These guys broke into the police impound lot with a power saw, and tried to cut the converter off a station wagon.

El Segundo, California | Cars: An Exhausting New Crime
The alleged theft surprised the Tennessee cops, but it shouldn’t have. Though national figures don’t exist, law-enforcement officials from Maine to Southern California report a surge in the past few years of stolen catalytic converters, sometimes called “cats” or “cat cons,” a key antipollution device equipped on every car and truck. In as little as a minute, thieves cruising parking lots and suburban streets can slip under a vehicle, remove the converter and disappear. Each device contains a few grams of precious platinum and related metals, and thieves can turn them in at salvage yards for between $25 and $200. That’s nothing compared to the owner’s replacement bill which can cost up to $2,000 says John Nielsen, director of AAA’s Auto Repair Network.

I see the payoff, but wouldn’t it make more sense to just steal them in parking lots, maybe the airport’s longterm parking? I mean, as long as your out there hiding somebody’s car (and body, perhaps), you could stop off, crawl under and pay the gas bill for the whole scheme.

I shoulda been a bad guy.

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