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Jan 24, 2012 5:41 PM by Andy Koen

Victim warns of car part thefts

If you drive an SUV and leave it parked outside, watch out. Thieves are now stealing parts right off of parked vehicles.

Mary Arneson had the catalytic converter stolen from her Toyota Forerunner this weekend. She didn't drive until Monday morning and immediately thought the muffler had been removed because the engine was so loud.

Catalytic converters are part of the exhaust system and contain precious metals like platinum and rhodium that filter emissions. The value of those metals is substantial and stolen catalytic converters can fetch hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on the black market.

Mary reported the theft to the police but called News 5 to alert her neighbors about the risk.

"We want the public to be aware that there are people running around doing this because it cost a lot of money to get this fixed," Arneson said.

There have been several catalytic converter thefts recently in the Boulder area. Like Mary, the victims often own sport utility vehicles which have a high ground clearance.

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