PHILADELPHIA - Police are searching for a group of men who ran an elaborate heist in order to steal the catalytic converter from underneath a van.
Surveillance footage shows two men walking along the 600 block of Spring Garden Street. One of the man stops and looks underneath the vehicle. Suddenly, a mini-van pulls alongside the targeted car and a man emerges. The man pretends like he is trying to jump the car, while the other two man swipe the catalytic converter.
"They opened their side door, went down underneath the van with a grinder, popped the catalytic converter and took off," the victim said.
The victim says it will cost him over $600 to replace the catalytic converter.
"Believe it or not, this is the second time it's actually happened to me," the victim said. "It happened to one of my other box trucks and the replacement for that was over $2500."
Tom Flora, the manager of a nearby mechanic shop, says the pollution control devices contain platinum and other precious metals. The thieves sell the catalytic converters for a hefty price.
"Platinum today is worth more than gold," Flora said. "The Hondas, which are very common and getting stolen a lot, we've had quite a few in the shop stolen. They're worth about $400 in the scrap yard."
Meanwhile the owner of the van wants the thieves that hit his truck caught, so it doesn't happen to anyone else.
"Cars are driving by, people walking by, nobody noticed anything. These guys are professionals, absolutely professionals." the victim said.