Catalytic Converter Thefts Becoming Major Problem in Rutherford County
by Michael Sparks
Thieves last night have targeted two car dealerships along Murfreesboro Road in Smyrna to steal catalytic converters that can be sold for the precious metals they contain.
Autoworld of Smyrna located at 1495 South Lowry Street in Smyrna had five converters stolen last night.
Traders Post Care Center at 6426 New Nashville Hwy in Smyrna had converters stolen a few months ago as well.
The thefts are a growing problem in the community, across the state and nation. Yesterday a man was fatally shot when he tried to steal a catalytic converter.
The cat thefts create even greater problems with missed sales and expensive repair costs.
“It’s very frustrating. Last year I spent thousands of dollars installing a new chain link fence to stop thieves—then the Smyrna Code Department forced me to take it down,” Zuheir said.
The metals found inside a catalytic converter — platinum, palladium, rhodium and others — remove pollutants from exhaust. The metals also very valuable, making the converters a tempting target for thieves who sell them for salvage.
Z explained that he can’t sell a car that doesn’t come with a catalytic converter and it can cost $2,000 to replace, if he can even find one.
Z says he plans on trying to catch the thieves in the act and plans on staying on the premises overnight.
”I appreciate the Smyrna Police and detectives, they have all been very helpful—but they can’t patrol here every night. If I wouldn’t have had to remove my fence this all wouldn’t have happened. Now it has cost me upwards o f close to $10,000. I just can’t continue to do business in Smyrna if theft is out of control,” Z said.
Z is offering a $1000 reward for information leading to an arrest of the thieves.
If you have information please call Smyrna Police at 615-459-6644.