Ross: Invasion of the body part snatchers

Jun 2, 2021, 5:36 AM | Updated: 9:25 am
catalytic converter...
A mechanic works on a truck's catalytic converter in Florida. (File photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(File photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The epidemic I’m hearing more and more about in our neighborhood has nothing to do with COVID. It’s about the invasion of body part snatchers –- thieves who can remove your car’s catalytic converter and be gone in 90 seconds.

It’s one of those crimes where no one dies, unless the jacked-up car falls on the thief. And since insurance will pay for it, minus your deductible, it’s not a high priority for the police.

But just knowing there are people running loose in neighborhoods doing this, is very annoying. These are your car’s kidneys!

So, of course, what I’m thinking is just as no hospital is going to accept a random kidney, what reputable recycler would accept a random sawed-off catalytic converter? I did a search, and the answer is plenty!

Apparently, a lot of do-it-yourselfers legally saw off the old converters from cars they own to be able to sell them, and so recyclers welcome them. “We buy catalytic converters at the best prices.” “Cash For Catalytic Converters.” – It’s all over Facebook.

I went to one website, and they suggest you send a picture of the converter with the serial number so you can get a more accurate price quote, but that’s optional, and no mention of how they screen for stolen converters. What they do promise is to pay you the instant they receive your package. Now, yes, maybe this is a bait site set up by the cops, but I have a feeling it’s not.

It seems to me in this era of voter ID and facial recognition, the least a recycler could do is insist on checking serial numbers against a police database.

But there I go again, looking for a big-government solution. I need to look at the positive side of the status quo: unemployed thieves make money, recyclers make money, car repair shops make money, insurance companies pay the bill (if you have comprehensive coverage and no deductible), and all of it is counted as part of GDP. And after the theft, your car sounds like a Harley!

Even if it’s a Prius.

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Ross: Invasion of the body part snatchers