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Thieves Targeting Corridor Cars
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- A warning for drivers out there - police say thieves may be looking to target your car in broad daylight.
Theyve seen an increase in a certain type of theft when it comes to vehicles, but what they are after is not exactly what you would expect.
5, 10 minutesit don't take them long and they don't sit and chat, said Michael Berns with Ream Auto Body.
A few minutes is all it takes for thieves to ruin your day says Berns. As an auto body employee, he knows the value of the catalytic converter to the driver.
It basically helps clean your exhaust emission so that way you're not polluting the environment, Berns said.
But to a thief, there's a different kind of value deep inside. Inside the converter sits platinum, palladium, rhodium, and even gold - all of which can fetch a pretty penny at a scrap yard.
They will sell everything that they can out of it, Berns said.
The problem is, once a thief makes off with it, you can't drive without it, meaning either you or your insurance company will have to pay up.
Replacing one isn't cheap. An older one will run you around $400 dollars. On the flip side, a converter for a newer vehicle will cost you around $1,000 dollars.
Add to that the fact that labor costs on the converters can be high because installation can be tricky.
They can be kind of a chore to put in, Berns said.
Experts say there's not much you can do to stop someone from taking away a catalytic converter, so the best thing you can do is decrease your chances of becoming a victim.
Be cognizant of where you park your car, says Sgt. Cristy Hamblin with the Cedar Rapids Police Department. Don't park it at the far end of the parking lot, park it smack dab right in the middle.
For other tips on how to avoid being a victim, visit http://www.nationwide.com/catalytic-converter-theft.jsp