INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 19, 2015) -- An essential piece of equipment on your car is being stolen more and more. Catalytic converters are being sawed off and sold, and a northwest side businessman says it happened to him this week. A worker at The Habegger Corporation came in to work early Wednesday morning just as the crime was in progress.
"About four o'clock, he pulled in to the parking lot and one guy was under there while the other guy was in the car. He was under there cutting one of ours off," said Tim Vestal, a warehouse manager who was describing the theft.
Vestal says the worker got in to his car and chased the suspects in their car around the parking lot, all while recording it on his cell phone. It's a crime that can affect anyone.
"They take them off of cars, people's cars, they take them off anything they can get to," Vestal said.
Experts say thieves are interested in the metal inside the catalytic converter which, if resold, can be worth hundreds of dollars. This theft left The Habegger Corporation with a huge bill for repairs, lost time and rentals.
"My customers are waiting for me to get to them, we have to unload the trucks, load them back if I can get rentals, sometimes we can't get them," Vestal added.
The Habegger Corporation says they have had 13 catalytic converter thefts over the last two years and are hoping it finally stops.
State law requires scrap metal recyclers to ask for ID, receipts and proof of ownership before any sale.