"Porch Pirates" didn't originate with the pandemic, but the surge in online orders is certainly helping them thrive. Stealing from someone's front step is about the laziest larceny there is. Pretty simple really, see a package then pick it up and all the day you'll have good luck. Unless you forgot to wear your hat and mask and some door-cam caught your felonious face which got hundreds of views on social media. We could spend all day condemning their kind, but I think it's also important to focus our attention to another crime that's on the rise.

Catalytic Crooks! (gasp!)

I had no idea this was even a thing, but the owner of Moorhead Minnesota's Muffler Man says his shop has repaired 14 vehicles in December alone. Some of these repairs running into thousands of dollars. Likely quit a bit more expensive then your rainbow glitter order from Amazon.

So why are these repairs needed?

Because crooks are stealing catalytic converters from underneath peoples vehicles.  You've heard of them, but what are they? Our old friend Wikipedia has this to say..

catalytic converter is an exhaust emission control device that reduces toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants by catalyzing a redox reaction (an oxidation and a reduction reaction).

It's around here somewhere...

Getty Images

Why do thieves want your crusty exhaust parts?  Because they contain rare earth metals Palladium, Rhodium, and Platinum, and 2 of those 3 are valued far higher than gold.  It's not like they contain a ton of those metals, but sold as scrap your chopped converter may get some thief a couple hundred bucks.  So all it takes is a pipe cutter and a desire to crawl under someone's frozen vehicle.  Of course some vehicles are easier than others.

Claire Wilson / The Peter Bull Art Studio

Be a good neighbor and keep your eyes open for catalytic crooks!


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