Don’t assume it’s a bad muffler that someone didn’t fix when you hear that loud rumble coming from the undercarriage of their vehicle as they drive down State Street. I’m probably just another victim of what is becoming a regular occurrence in Illinois.
If you’ve ever broken into one of your vehicles, it’s pretty obvious that something happened when you walk up and see the shattered glass and realize things are missing.
But with this latest theft ring raging in the state of Illinois, it’s only when you start the vehicle that you realize an important part is missing.
Catalytic converters contain precious metals making them an easy target for desperate thieves who can fetch up to $250 for a regular converter and up to $1500 for a hybrid version.
Illinois One of the worst for stolen catalytic converters
Thieves who are cutting catalytic converters from vehicles have gotten bold, with one recent incident 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, a man can be seen under his Jeep cutting the vehicle’s catalytic converter.
A couple of customers walk by pushing their shopping trolley and slow down to watch the man completing the catalytic converter cut using a cordless reciprocating saw.
As the pair pass, the man stands up with the saw in his left hand, the newly stolen catalyst in his right hand and what appears to be a cigarette in his mouth.
The man then casually walks with his loot in hand towards the getaway vehicle, which has a license plate clearly visible in the video. Several people in the social media chat doing investigative work have claimed that the burgundy Jeep Compass’s license plates were apparently stolen after they traced them to another vehicle using the license plate numbers.
Kimberly LaMarr Heck owns the Jeep that was vandalized in the video and said in her Facebook post that she was only at Schnucks Superstore for about 5 minutes to pick up a few items before the catalytic converter was stolen.
“And to top it off, I had to wait in the parking lot for 2 1/2 hours for the police to arrive so I could make a report,” Heck said on his Facebook page.