Feds bust 21 in nationwide catalytic converter theft ring, seek $545 million in forfeitures
Catalytic converter theft ‘epidemic’: Car part targeted for resale of precious metals
FOX Business’ Grady Trimble speaks with Joe’s Expert Auto owner Joe Betancourt in Chicago, Illinois, about the rise in crooks stealing catalytic converters.
The Department of Justice announced charges against 21 people on Wednesday accused of running a nationwide catalytic converter theft ring from California to New Jersey.
Catalytic converters, which reduce pollutants from a car's engine, have increasingly been targeted by thieves due to precious metals they contain, such as platinum and rhodium.
Each catalytic converter can fetch more than $1,000 on the black market, and their lack of VIN information or a serial number makes them hard to track.
"This national network of criminals hurt victims across the country," FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement. "They made hundreds of millions of dollars in the process—on the backs of thousands of innocent car owners.