Brazen Catalytic Converter Theft Raises Concern in Maple Glen, Montgomery County; suspects wanted

MAPLE GLEN, Pa. (WPVI) – The initial reaction was a reaction of shock and wonder.

The victim, who wished to remain anonymous, said her catalytic converter was stolen while shopping in Maple Glen, Pa. On Saturday.

Photos taken by witnesses documented the theft in the parking lot of a GIANT grocery store on Norristown Road.

“It’s surprising that this has happened here in a small town like this,” said Maple Glen resident Mark Stielow.

The victim said she left the store and caught the suspects in the act.

RELATED: Philadelphia Police Recommend Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention Devices To Deter Criminals

“(I) just started screaming at the top of my lungs, ‘Help, police, robbery,'” she said.

“I can’t believe something like this would happen in Maple Glen in broad daylight,” said Horsham resident Annina Clibanoff.

But that’s exactly what happened.

“Even though I know that a catalytic converter was stolen, I had no idea what it was or what it meant,” the victim said.

She said her car started, but sounded like a truck without a muffler.

“The volume of the exhaust would drive you enough to have it looked at right away,” said Eddie Herskovitz, owner of the Main Line Auto Center.

RELATED: 10 Catalytic Converters Stolen from LIFE St. Mary’s Seniors Center in Bensalem

Herskovitz said the emission control devices are coveted by criminals because of the precious metals used to make them.

“Inside that case are your three very expensive metals,” Herskovitz said.

Auto experts say the converters themselves typically have a lifespan of around 80,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on car maintenance.

Reputable body shops are expected to turn over old ones or face a hefty penalty.

But replacing them, broken or stolen, can cost you a few thousand dollars.

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