EASTON, Md.- Police say someone stole around $50,000 worth of catalytic converters and air filters from an Easton car dealership.
The thefts reportedly occurred over the weekend at Fred Frederick Chrysler, located at 8562 Ocean Gateway. According to Easton police, 10 diesel trucks were targeted.
Catalytic converters are valued by thieves for their precious metals, including platinum. Their external location makes them easy to steal. Thieves can sell the scrap metal from catalytic converters for $100-$200 per part.
"Theft of converters is a popular crime and doesn't always happen, but yes, they can resell them, they can use them for scrap metal," said Lt. Greg Wright of the Easton Police Department. "Anything metal and anything heavy, it's a quick buck."
Jeff Frederick, who owns Fred Frederick Chrysler, said employees discovered the thefts on Monday morning when they noticed loose wires hanging from the trucks. Frederick said whoever was responsible for the thefts knew what he or she was doing.
"These pieces of exhaust were removed clean- they weren't cut, the wires weren't snipped and it had to have been done fast," he said. "Whoever did it knew what they were doing and they had a lot of practice."
According to Frederick, each catalytic converter and air filter costs about $4,500. Thieves can then turn around and sell the stolen goods.
"It's really been happening a lot across the country because there are metals in the converters that are valuable, so people take them and sell them for scrap," Frederick said. "It hasn't happened to me yet until this recent event."
So far police have no suspects in this case. Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to contact the Easton Police Department Tip Line at (410) 763-6140.
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