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Catalytic Converter Thefts In Michigan: Why Are They Happening?

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (CBS Detroit) -- Theft of catalytic converters is not new in Michigan as dozens of cases are open all across the state over the stolen car part.

"A catalytic converter can be worth as scrap metal, anywhere from $75 to up to $600 or $700, sometimes even more. It's very little risk for a large gain," said Wayne Moody, director of automotive service technology at Northwestern Michigan College.

The Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office has been investigating about 35 catalytic converter thefts over the past year.

"With the catalytic converters, basically a lot of it is tied to the materials that are used to make up the catalytic converters and those are quite valuable at this time," said Capt. Randy Fewless.

"On average, a catalytic converter replacement on a vehicle could run $500 to over $2,000," Moody said.

With the way they can be easily stolen and sold, the fear is the thefts will continue happening.

"I think it's going to get worse because the prices of these metals are going to only go up, and I'm hoping there will be some legislation and laws in place to puts some checks and balances and IDs on where these components are coming from," Moody said.

The sheriff's office says they don't have any leads on who is responsible for the thefts and are seeking anyone who may have information.

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