CHERRY HILL, N.J. - It’s an ongoing problem – thieves crawl under vehicles and steal part of the exhaust system, the catalytic converter.
It’s a problem, everywhere.
From the city and now to the suburbs, catalytic converter thieves have been on a tear, striking three times in Cherry Hill in the past three days.
"Unfortunately, we’ve had quite a few, sporadically, throughout the town. Other areas nearby, they’ve had the same issues we’re having," Cherry Hill Police Lt. John Moyer stated.
From the malls to random Cherry Hill parking lots, police say cars and trucks have been targeted by thieves armed with a jack and a battery-powered saw. They slide under cars and pickups and go right to work stealing catalytic converters.
"They’re in and out within minutes," Lt. Moyer added.
Insurance experts say the thefts have skyrocketed nationwide. Brazen bandits have hit buses in Philly along with cars like Hondas and Toyotas. Pickup trucks have been targeted in the suburbs because they’re easy to get under.
"What’s getting them, maybe, $100 or $200 for the precious metals inside, it’s costing people thousands," Lt. Moyer remarked.
Evesham Police say a person of interest in multiple converter thefts in the area was recently busted. While insurance may cover most of the $2,000 to $3,000 replacement cost, car owners can get stuck paying a $500 to $1,000 deductible.
"You want to park in well-lit areas, as close to the door as possible," advised Lt. Moyer.
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