LANSING, Mich. — A catalytic converter was stolen off an RV in broad daylight on the east side of Lansing. Now the victim of the theft is left with a bill, and he’s not the only one in mid-Michigan
Jesse Woodruff said he's “shocked that it would happen in the middle of the day. I can’t believe someone was brave enough to just jump under there and cut it off.”
Woodruff was just working from home last week, when someone made their way to his driveway and stole the catalytic converter off his newly purchased RV.
“It sounded like someone was sawing on my house,” he said. “It was very loud.”
The thief left behind a foot trail, but managed to get away.
It's not an isolated incident. A spike in the price of metals used in catalytic converters such as palladium and rhodium have made them more attractive to thieves.
Roy Niemi owns the A & D Body and Repairs in Haslett. He said he was left paying to repair customers' cars after someone broke into his lot and stole the catalytic converters. He said six have been stolen off the lot in the past year. Apparently, the thieves are targeting specific vehicles.
“Most motor homes with Ford V10s,” Neimi said.
Thieves can get up to a couple hundred dollars selling stolen catalytic converters, but it takes $1,500 to fix the problem, Neimi said.
“I know the little bit you put in your pocket when you cash them out can benefit you, but but it impacts my 15 employees that I have everyday,” he said.
Media outlets across the country have reported a rise in catalytic thefts. Lansing police say there’s been was slight decline in the last 30 days, but people like Woodruff are still left with the costs, in his case, a $1,200 tab to fix his RV.
“It’s like a feeling of violation,” he said. “We just bought this RV in October and we were pretty excited to have it and to have someone just come in and take your stuff, it’s a weird feeling.”