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Car dealers becoming targets for catalytic converter thefts

One business owner tells FOX43 his dealerships have been hit four separate times in the last six months.

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. — Thefts of catalytic converters are on the rise across the country, including in South Central Pennsylvania.

“Now that we’re in the situation we’re in, I think it’s pressuring certain individuals to turn to crime and it’s unfortunate this is an easy target," said Mike Dorazio, who owns Platinum Central Pennsylvania.

He owns six dealerships across the area and says his businesses have been hit four separate times in just the last six months.

"They're quick money, they're an easy buck for these guys, and it's going to continue to happen until something else takes its place," said Dorazio.

The crimes are costing him a pretty penny.

“They might get a wholesale value, black market value of $1,000 for a catalytic converter, but it’s over $2,000 for us to replace that catalytic converter," said Dorazio.

While it’s not a new trend, it’s one Carlisle police say has really taken off over the last year.

“The value of the precious metals inside the converters has skyrocketed which makes it more of a lucrative thing for thieves to go after," said Zach Saum, an officer with the Carlisle Police Department.

What makes the criminals even tougher to catch is how quickly they act. Police say they can be gone within minutes, converter in hand.

"A larger vehicle that has higher ground clearance is easier for a thief to get under, that’s typically what we’re seeing it the most in," said Officer Saum.

Dorazio has hired extra security and installed more cameras, but he says only so much can be done. 

“It’s been my experience that if someone wants to steal something, they’re going to find a way to get in and steal it," he said.

Dorazio says there are kits available to put on your vehicle which can help deter thieves, but they can be expensive, so deciding if it is cost-effective is a decision to be made.

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