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Stealing Catalytic Converters

Old 11-20-2020, 05:22 PM
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How much is one worth?
Old 11-20-2020, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Tperkerson View Post
I don't understand how the government hasn't put some sort of rule in place to stop this... Seems like scrap yards are knowingly buying stolen goods. No one just happens to find a handful of catalytic converters while walking down the street.
Some scrap yards refuse to pay for them, at least here in the Wilson, NC area, as they don't want to support the black market.
Old 11-20-2020, 07:55 PM
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I work in the telecomms industry and we have had to change from copper ground bars because thieves were climbing towers and cutting all of them off. Some were even cutting sections out of our feed lines to sell the copper.
Old 11-20-2020, 08:22 PM
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Thieves are bad right now. Not even 2X4's are safe... new construction in my sisters neighborhood is littered with rent a cops right now.

People like to hide their cameras, but I set all mine out so they are highly visible and lights pop on at night instead of using the inferred setting. Visible cameras keep away the people scouting houses pretending to be a lawn company or whatever.
Old 11-21-2020, 06:12 AM
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I can only assume it's still there, but decades ago I visited company in Anniston AL owned by Elf Aquitaine (my employer) that had a plasma arc furnace.

The factory occupied 16 acres and had about 20 employees. Most of the space was warehousing and material handling; the furnace and it's control room occupied about 2000 square feet.

They purchased old catalytic converters, ripped off the metal, which was sold for scrap. The ceramic substrate - either aluminum oxide pellets or cordierite honeycomb - was fed into the furnace, along with a little limestone flux. About once an hour, they poured off the slag. It was crushed and sold to the scrap steel industry as a slag modifier. Between the scrap metal and slag, 100% of the operating costs of the plant were covered.

About once a week, they'd shut down the arc furnace, let it cool, and then they would remove a thousand-pound slug of platinum and palladium, which was shipped out for beneficiation and sale.

Edit: Looked it up - it is now a Multimetco facility.
Old 11-21-2020, 11:56 AM
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CC's weren't widely used until the mid 70's. At $100, to a $1000 spike in the 80's, that's $1.2-$12 million a week from that 1000 pound slug.
Don't remember how long a CC lasted back then.
Old 11-21-2020, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by raybark View Post
I can only assume it's still there, but decades ago I visited company in Anniston AL owned by Elf Aquitaine (my employer) that had a plasma arc furnace.

The factory occupied 16 acres and had about 20 employees. Most of the space was warehousing and material handling; the furnace and it's control room occupied about 2000 square feet.

They purchased old catalytic converters, ripped off the metal, which was sold for scrap. The ceramic substrate - either aluminum oxide pellets or cordierite honeycomb - was fed into the furnace, along with a little limestone flux. About once an hour, they poured off the slag. It was crushed and sold to the scrap steel industry as a slag modifier. Between the scrap metal and slag, 100% of the operating costs of the plant were covered.

About once a week, they'd shut down the arc furnace, let it cool, and then they would remove a thousand-pound slug of platinum and palladium, which was shipped out for beneficiation and sale.

Edit: Looked it up - it is now a Multimetco facility.
A 1000 pound slug of platinum/paladium, what's security like?
Old 11-22-2020, 10:06 AM
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u must live in one bad area... thats outrageous
Old 11-22-2020, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by tampapete View Post
u must live in one bad area... thats outrageous
"u" who? Me? Stealing converters knows absolutely no boundaries and it's not "outrageous", it's fact and is happening all over. ......
Old 11-23-2020, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by NC_Native View Post
Some scrap yards refuse to pay for them, at least here in the Wilson, NC area, as they don't want to support the black market.
Most of the corporate type yards around here won't, but there is always that one that will buy anything. One local yard got caught buying stolen cemetery vases. Sad part...his dad was on county council at the time.
Old 11-23-2020, 01:49 PM
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In my area, converters were being sold to a sleazy auto salvage company. He could sell them to scrap yards by claiming they were being removed from junk cars.

I was in my local tool supply several years ago when a couple of guys walked in and bought a box full of cordless grinders and recip saws. They looked like cartoon representations of drug dealers - really scary looking dudes. After they left, the guy at the counter said " I got a feeling some converters will go missing tonight....."
Old 11-23-2020, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Tperkerson View Post
I don't understand how the government hasn't put some sort of rule in place to stop this... Seems like scrap yards are knowingly buying stolen goods. No one just happens to find a handful of catalytic converters while walking down the street.
Where do you think pawn shops get half their merchandise?

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