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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - There have been numerous reports of catalytic converter thefts in Rochester in recent months. And it appears to be a national problem.

The New York Times is reporting similar thefts around the country.

The apparent reason for the thefts? Some of the materials used to manufacture the automotive emission-reducing devices.

According to the NY Times story, the costs of what’s called “precious metals” have skyrocketed due to stricter emission controls in numerous countries.

According to the story:
The price of palladium has shot up from $500 an ounce five years ago to nearly $3,000 last year. The price of rhodium went from $640 an ounce five years ago to almost $22,000 this year. Compare these figures to the price of gold as of Thursday morning - $1840 per ounce.

Nearly 100 of the devices were reported stolen in Rochester in November and December - including almost 30 that were removed from trucks at U-Haul Moving & Storage. Costs to replace the devices can be significant, some as high as $3,000 or more.

Rochester Police Capt. Casey Moilanen says the thefts have mostly involved Honda and Toyota vehicles.

Here is a summary of catalytic converter thefts reported in Rochester between July 2020 and Feb. 10, 2021:

  • July              4
  • August         5
  • September   5
  • October        7
  • November    64
  • December    23
  • January        9
  • February      3

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