FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Thieves in search of making some quick cash are once again turning to used car lots. Police say they're stealing catalytic converters.
Thieves want the converters because they can scrap them for about $100 apiece.
Just to put things into perspective, so many used car lots have been robbed Jim Smith, the owner of Car Smart on Goshen Avenue, knew it was just a matter of time before his would be. One thing that caught him off guard though is how bold they're becoming.
"These guys have got to be hardened criminals. You know, they aren't scared of anything," owner of Car Smart Jim Smith explained.
The lights surrounding Jim Smith's car lot on Goshen Avenue were on Thursday night. A fairly busy road with a 24-hour McDonalds nearby. Smith's surprised no one saw or heard thieves stealing catalytic converters off of 12 of his cars. He thinks they hit his lot between midnight and 6 a.m.
"We are closed at one o'clock. No one should be on this lot. Normally, if someone is looking at cars they aren't going to be out here at one o'clock in the morning looking at cars. If they are, they are probably going to drive through. They aren't going to be out running around on it."
Smith isn't the only victim. Police believe this ring of thieves are responsible for other thefts at used car dealerships around town.
"It has been an issue. It seems to have reared its ugly head here recently," Fort Wayne Police Department Spokesperson Michael Joyner said.
If you see anything strange while out and about, call police.
"We will respond rather rapidly because it's such an issue that we want to get the person, persons responsible for it."
In the meantime, Smith has installed surveillance equipment.
"We've only been here two weeks and didn't have our surveillance stuff set up yet. But, we do now! If that would had done anything, who knows," Smith said.
If you have any information on who may be stealing the catalytic converters, call Fort Wayne Police.
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