From NYTimes.com: Thieves Leave Cars, but Take Catalytic Converters
Theft of scrap metals like copper and aluminum has been common here and across the country for years, fueled by rising construction costs and the building boom in China. But now thieves have found an easy payday from the upper echelon of the periodic table. It seems there may not be an easier place to score some platinum than under the hood of a car.
The catalytic converter is made with trace amounts of platinum, palladium and rhodium, which speed chemical reactions and help clean emissions at very high temperatures. Selling stolen converters to scrap yards or recyclers, a thief can net a couple of hundred dollars apiece.
I had read this article a couple of weeks ago and was reminded of it by the same story on the Today show this morning. It seems that SUV’s are a big target because they’re a little higher off the ground for easier access, plus the larger size of the catalytic converter means more precious metals. If you see someone crawling under a car with a saw, call the cops!