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Atlanta woman has catalytic converter stolen from car multiple times | News

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Atlanta woman has catalytic converter stolen from car multiple times

ATLANTA -- For Sofia Siraj, it started with a rather unpleasant noise from her car.

Siraj noticed the loud noise coming from her car at the beginning of the month.

After doing a little research, she found out her catalytic converter had been stolen.

After paying the $500 deductible on her insurance, she got it replaced only to have it stolen again on Saturday.

She knows of several of her neighbors at the Tuscany at Lindburgh apartments who had their converters stolen the same day – the common link being they were all Honda CRVs.

“The way I see it, there’s two options,” she said. “Either move or get a different car.”

It’s not a choice Siraj is happy about. She said she wants to stay in Atlanta but she fears the issue may be city-wide and not just confined to her own apartment complex.

“So, we’re going to sell my car and get a new one,” she said. “Not an SUV.”

There are surveillance cameras at Siraj’s apartment complex. She told 11Alive that the employees have said they will go through the video in hopes of finding out who is targeting her vehicle.

It turns out that vehicles such as SUVs and vans are common targets for this type of theft. That’s because they’re high enough off the ground for thieves to reach the converter.

Police say a good thief with the right tools can get under a car and steal a catalytic converter in less than a minute.

And recyclers pay an average of $50 to $250 per converter for the precious metals inside them.

“The key ingredient is rhodium or platinum and those precious metals break down the pollutants and carbon monoxide that most gasoline engines produce,” Jose Azcuy of Buckhead Mufflers said.

And the cost to the car owner is likely far higher than the  amount a thief will be getting.

Estimates put repairs at close to $2,000 for some repairs because of the collateral damage to the vehicle’s undercarriage.

However, there are ways to prevent the thefts like having extra metal welded to the exhaust system. That makes it  harder to remove the converter.