Upper Darby thieves stealing catalytic converters from cars

UPPER DARBY TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Upper Darby Township Police are attempting to identify two males who stole vehicle parts from numerous vehicles.

Chuck McLennen, owner of McCullough's Auto Repair on West Chester Pike, put an Acura up on his lift and showed us something missing - the car's catalytic converter.

"Zip! They cut right through that and right through there. The easiest spots," McClennen said.

Last week an Acura was parked right outside in his lot to be fixed.

But on his security video we saw a team of thieves ride by in a Cadillac sedan. Then they came creeping back in reverse and went to work.

First a suspect walked over to the car and jacked it up. Then another one gets underneath with a saw and within seconds he's cut out the converter.

"They had a nice fresh blade and they knew exactly where to do it. I gotta tell him, the suspect, he's got some nice straight cuts here," McClennen said.

To have it replaced isn't cheap. McClennen says that'll be around $700-$1000.

So what does a catalytic converter do?

"Its job is to burn all the pollutants coming out of the engine, gets real hot and turns it into water," McClennen said.

Thieves want them because there is precious metal inside.

From McCullough's the suspects might try and sell a converter to Joe Piacentino at a place like Steve's Auto Part sales in Southwest Philadelphia.

But he says when it comes to their converters they only deal with legit businesses.

"Anyone who comes in off the street we're not buying," Piacentino said.

If you can believe it he says suspects have even broken into his shop.

"I have been broken into two or three times this year alone," he said.

The Upper Darby Township believe the same crew that hit McCullough's have down similar things to shops and residents throughout the township.
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