For year two years, we have been hearing about an uptick in the number of reports of stolen catalytic converters in some parts of Maine.

Now, it looks like police have broken up a significant catalytic converter theft ring.

According to WMTW, the Maine State Police have charged ten people in Northern Maine with stealing about 1,000 catalytic converters.  It appears that most of the devices were stolen from Aroostook County and Penobscot County.  Police estimate the stolen car parts are valued at nearly $200,000.

For those who don't know, Wikipedia says that catalytic converters are part of a vehicle's exhaust system.  They turn toxic vehicle exhaust into something that is slightly less toxic by "catalyzing a redox reaction".

Why steal them?  Most, if not all, contain precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium.  As a result, they are worth far more than just a hunk of metal.

In recent years, thefts of the devices have become a major problem in Maine.  One of the reasons they are causing such a problem is the fact that stolen catalytic converters are difficult to trace.  Police said Maine law requires that anyone selling a catalytic converter sign a document saying the converter is not stolen.  Additionally, they must produce a photo ID.

What is the strangest thing anyone has ever stolen from your car?  Have you ever had your vehicle stolen?  Tell us the story by messaging us through our app or on Facebook.

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