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Gardaí pursuing catalytic converter thieves amid continued targeting of hybrid cars

The latest incident happened on Friday.

Image: LEON FARRELL/PHOTOCALL IRELAND/Photocall Ireland

GARDAÍ ARE INVESTIGATING the latest theft of a car’s catalytic converter in Dublin as they attempt to track down a gang suspected of carrying out dozens of similar crimes. 

The latest incident happened at the Red Cow Luas Park & Ride facility in west Dublin on Friday. 

A woman had parked her hybrid car and headed to work at 8.30am. She returned at 12.30pm to find that someone had climbed under her vehicle and cut off the car’s catalytic converter. 

The victim’s husband told TheJournal.ie: “She drives a hybrid so there is platinum in the catalytic converter which they scrap.

“When I contacted the guards they said this is a recurring act in this location. They also said the CCTV footage is terrible there and it only covers a small percentage of the car park which is very unclear. 

I also rang around locally to get a quote to get it the car fixed and all the exhaust specialist said this is a recurring issue from this location and they have fixed many cars with the same issue.

“We got quotes for €1,200 to get the car fixed which is a month’s wage for my wife. When we get it fixed we will not feel safe leaving it back there so we can get stung again.”

The cars’ converters contain the precious metals rhodium and palladium and are sold to operators of scrap yards around the capital and the wider Leinster region. Hybrid cars contain more of these metals than standard vehicles.

Gardaí believe a criminal gang is targeting cars in the area. This has not been the first incident of a catalytic converter being stolen from that location. Officers in the district are aware of a number of hotspots for this sort of theft and are investigating. 

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Last month, sources told this publication that the men behind the thefts can have the converter removed from a car within minutes. The items are then brought to a scrapyard, where they are bought before being sold on to motorists at an inflated price.

An ounce of palladium currently trades at just under €2,000 per 28gms while rhodium is trading at just over €8,200 per 28gms. On average, there is about 2g of palladium in many of the catalytic converters in use today. This can reach as high as 7g in some models.

A garda spokesman confirmed an investigation into Friday’s theft is underway: “Gardaí are investigating an incident of theft from a car that occurred on Friday 22 May 2020 at approximately 1pm near Oak Road, in Clondalkin. During the incident, a catalytic converter was taken from the vehicle. No damage was caused to the car. Investigation ongoing.”

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