(KMOV) – The holiday weekend offered a big opportunity for thieves. For two days, they hit a Metro East car lot, stealing nearly 50 catalytic converters from used cars on the lot.
Collinsville police say catalytic converter thefts with these numbers is a first for them. Forty–six cars were burglarized between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day. It was a bold theft, and did thousands in damage.
It’s also an insurance headache and a guaranteed profit loss for General Manager Bernard Birger, and it wasn’t until a customer wanted to test drive a truck that he discovered the theft.
At that point, they checked the other 600 cars on the lot, and found the 46 cars with missing catalytic converters.
Replacing them could cost $10,000 to $15,000.
The converters are valuable because they contain small amounts of precious metals.
News 4 went to two different scrap yards, Apex and Top Metal Buyers, to ask if they purchased catalytic converters. Both said yes, and only from known sources, but neither manager would speak on camera. They also say they require identification and paperwork.
Collinsville police say they found some evidence the thieves left behind. They’ll also be checking to see if it is connected to a similar theft in Overland on December 18. In that case, thieved hit a U-Haul store on Page Ave.
Anyone with information is asked to call Collinsville police at 318-344-2131.