SHREWSBURY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Police are investigating reports that thieves stole catalytic converters from six cars outside Green Angel Cleaning Service in Shrewsbury. 

Owner Stacey Wilund said the discovery was made Friday morning when an employee went to start one of the cars. 

"It sounded like a motorcycle," said Wilund. “I exchanged out the key and then we started up and we’re going one by one by one and then all six of them were making the same sound and then we knew something wasn’t right."

As a small business, Wilund called the thefts devastating.

“We have a lot of employees who don’t have vehicles to drive so they count on those cars to drive, we count on those cars," said Wilund. 

Mark Dirsa with Auto Evaluators said thieves sell the converters to scrap yards. They can make between $50 and $200 per part. You can't really drive a car without a catalytic converter. 

“It’s kinda like the wash machine for the exhaust so without it raw fumes are just rolling out of this car," said Dirsa. 

Wilund can't afford to replace the converters in all six cars. 

“It’s gonna cost us anywhere from $1,100 to $2,300 per car to fix and you know when we do the math and what our cars are worth, essentially we lost our entire fleet," said Wilund.

Within the last two weeks, thieves also stole catalytic converters from five vehicles in the parking lot of Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting in Kirkwood. 

It's not clear if the crimes are connected. So far, no arrests have been made. 

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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