Police in New York need help identifying a man they say is stealing the "most valuable metal on the planet" in New York State.

According to New York State Police, the man seen in the photo below is stealing catalytic converters in New York.

"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.

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According to New York State Police, the man seen in the photo above  is stealing catalytic converters in New York.

According to Scientific American searches about why the metal in a catalytic converter is valuable saw a 5,000 percent increase in the past year.

The reason the metal in a catalytic converter is "the most valuable metal on the planet."

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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."

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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.

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"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.

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New York State Police say the man stole catalytic converters from a truck belonging to Calvary Cemetery on Five Mile Point Drive in the town of Ithaca.

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"Can you ID this man? If you have any information, call SP Ithaca at (607)347-4463," New York State Police Stated.

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