Thieves steal $72,000 in catalytic converters from Elizabeth City dealership

Posted at 11:29 PM, May 24, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-24 23:29:15-04

Fifteen brand new Toyota Tundras lined up at an Elizabeth City dealership. They look flawless until you try to start them. All of the trucks are missing essential parts--$72,000 worth of catalytic converters.

Lt. John Etheridge from the Elizabeth City police department says the reason the thieves choose to strip a Toyota Tundra is because it is easy to get underneath of it. Crooks didn't need to lift it. All they needed was a wrench.

Truck by truck, Toyota of Elizabeth City mechanics are replacing the parts. While insurance is covering most of the damage, the dealership will be responsible for about $10,000.

Today, they installed cameras to keep an extra eye on their inventory, and with the help of police, the store's owner hopes this will never happen again.

Police have no leads for now, but if these thieves strike again, police tell us they will be ready. "Hopefully, they wont try and do it again because we`re pretty sure they`ll get caught."

The reason thieves steal the part is for the platinum inside. They can sell a catalytic converter to a recycler or a scrap yard for about $200.