Catalytic Converter Stolen From Schnucks in Illinois as Customers Look On
Don't assume it's a bad muffler that someone hasn't gotten fixed when you hear that loud rumbling coming from their vehicle's undercarriage as they drive down State Street. They're likely just another victim of what is becoming a regular occurrence around Illinois.
If you've ever had one of your vehicles broken into, it's pretty obvious that something has happened when you walk up and see the shattered glass, and realize things are missing.
But with this latest ring of thefts running rampant around the state of Illinois, it's not until you start the vehicle that you realize an important part is missing.
Catalytic converters have valuable metals inside of them which make these an easy target for desperate thieves who can make upwards of $250 for a regular converter and up to $1500 for a hybrid version.
Thieves who are cutting catalytic converters out of vehicles have gotten bold, with one recent incident being caught on video at an Illinois Schnucks supermarket just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.
In the video posted on Facebook by Kimberly Lamarr Heck, you see a man underneath her Jeep cutting the catalytic converter from the vehicle.
A couple of customers walk pushing their grocery cart and slow down to watch the man just completing the cut of the catalytic converter using a cordless reciprocating saw.
As the couple passes, the man stands up with the saw in his left hand, the freshly stolen catalytic converter in his right hand, and what appears to be a cigarette in his mouth.
The man then casually walks with his loot in hand toward the getaway vehicle, which has a license plate that is clearly visible in the video. Several people in the social media chat doing detective work said the plates on the burgundy Jeep Compass were apparently stolen after tracing them back to another vehicle using the plate numbers.
Kimberly LaMarr Heck owns the Jeep that was being vandalized on the video and in her Facebook post said she was only in the Schnucks supermarket for about 5 minutes to pick up a few items before the catalytic converter was stolen.
"And to top it all off, I had to wait in the parking lot for 2 1/2 hours for the police to show up so I could make a report," Heck said on her Facebook page.
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