New York Thieves Stealing ‘Most Valuable Metal On The Planet’
Police from the Hudson Valley have received many recent reports of the "most valuable metal on the planet" being stolen.
New York State Police are investigating numerous complaints of stolen catalytic converters from vehicles throughout the Hudson Valley.
These crimes are being committed at all hours of the day. Vehicles that are parked close to roadways or have high-valued catalytic converters are more likely to be targeted, police say.
Catalytic Converters Stolen From Parked Cars in New York State
"Stealing catalytic converters isn't anything new. The thief cuts it off a vehicle and the victim starts their car and finds that it's running much louder as they hit the gas pedal. But we don't always get a picture of the suspect and the vehicle he used to get to the scene of the crime," New York State Police wrote on Facebook.
Rise in Thefts in Hudson Valley
New York State Police from the Livingston barracks report they have seen a recent uptick in stolen catalytic converters from vehicles in the Columbia County area.
New York State Police strongly encourage vehicle owners to always lock their vehicles and park in well-lit conspicuous locations.
"Exterior sensor lighting, driveway alarms, and video surveillance systems may also help prevent your vehicle from being targeted or aid the criminal investigation," New York State Police said in a press release.
Catalytic Converters Stolen From Parked Cars in Columbia County
Hudson Valley residents can further assist the police in preventing these crimes by remaining alert and reporting any signs of suspicious activity immediately to local law enforcement, whether it be a person, vehicle, or noise, police say.
"For information related to a previously reported crime please contact SP Livingston Bureau of Criminal Investigations at 518-851-2893. To report a past occurred crime, please contact the State Police at 845-677-7300. For emergency response, please call 911," New York State Police added.
Catalytic Converters Considered 'Most Valuable Metal On The Planet'
Searches about why the metal in a catalytic converter is valuable saw a 5,000 percent increase in the past year, according to Scientific American.
The reason the metal in a catalytic converter is "the most valuable metal on the planet."
"More valuable than silver, gold, platinum, or even jewelry," Andrew Robinson continues in the Scientific American article. "Rhodium is a key ingredient in every car sold in the United States since around 1975. It’s part of a system that cleans out pollutants and prevents them from entering the atmosphere. And it’s also the reason why thieves across the U.S. are sawing off catalytic converters in order to get their hands on a few precious grams of the world’s most valuable metal."
More valuable than silver, gold, platinum, or even jewelr
In 1970, Congress passed the “Clean Air Act.” The act called for a 90 percent reduction in automobile emissions. That's when researchers developed what is the modern three-way catalytic converter.
"The converter itself sits just behind the exhaust manifold and before the muffler. It’s purpose: to reduce 3 harmful types of emission: carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons (or unburned fuel), and nitrous oxides. The converter on regular fuel vehicles is simple: a stainless steel shell surrounds a ceramic honeycomb monolith— that monolith is coated with three important precious metals: platinum, palladium, and rhodium," Robinson adds.