ALLENTOWN, PA – You have heard of catalytic converters stolen from streets, driveways and parking lots. But now they’re even being stolen from dealerships.
Eric Watson is the Director of Operations at Allentown Kia.
âWe’re seeing it more and more,â Watson said. “We are not the only ones.”
They’ve had converters stolen twice this month, the last time this week.
A security video shows the theft.
âWe’re watching the video of them walking around like it’s 12 in the afternoon and there are cars going by and they don’t seem to care,â Watson said.
A catalytic converter is an emission control device that is part of the exhaust system. It is popular among scrap thieves because it contains precious metals, like platinum.
Supply shortages have made them even more valuable and therefore more popular.
âLabor and Parts – $ 2,500,â Watson said. “We have had cases where some vehicles have had to wait three to six months for a converter.”
Since they don’t expect the problem to go away anytime soon, Allentown Kia just installed a $ 50,000 security system.
Watson says most of the other Lehigh Street dealers must have done the same.
âIt’s a violation, you know we’re a family business, we care about our customers and you know it’s just not fair,â Watson said.