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South Bay thieves taking catalytic converters

August 20, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Instead of stealing wheels and tires, a group of South Bay thieves is snatching catalytic converters from cars.Police in Torrance and Redondo Beach said they've had a rash of catalytic converter thefts recently.

In Torrance, 10 catalytic converters have been stolen during the past week, and in Redondo Beach, there have been 25 thefts since July 26.

Catalytic converters are a hot commodity because they contain valuable metals and other materials including: stainless steel, silica, alumina, platinum, palladium, rhodium, cerium, iron, manganese, nickel, and copper.

The parts can be sold for about $30 to scrap dealers.

In January 2011 a new state law will go into effect requiring recyclers to keep records of any catalytic converters they buy.