Catalytic Converter Thefts Reported in Upper Hanover

SKIPPACK PA – A thief or thieves who are putting their mechanical skills to work hit two different Upper Hanover Township properties in separate incidents, and at each location stole valuable automotive parts from stationary vehicles, Pennsylvania State Police at the Troop K Barracks in Skippack reported Friday (July 16, 2021).

Troopers responded Thursday (July 15) at 9:56 a.m. to a Gravel Pike address, and then at 10:54 a.m. to a Water Street address, to investigate the thefts.

  • On Gravel Pike, they said, an unknown individual “cut the catalytic converter off” a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado owned by a 62-year-old East Greenville man, causing what were reported to be $2,000 in damages.
  • On Water Street, another East Greenville resident said three catalytic converters and an exhaust system were removed from that property, troopers stated, also at an estimated value of about $2,000.

Catalytic converters change harmful vehicle emission compounds like nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide into safe gases before being released into the atmosphere as exhaust, according to the Universal Technical Institute. The conversion process in part relies on contain precious metals that include rhodium, palladium, and platinum. The value of those metals brings a high return in the scrap market, experts cited by the British Broadcasting Corp. say, particularly when metals’ prices rise.

Also in Friday reports:

Theft by impersonation

A 22-year-old woman on Hendricks Station Road in Upper Salford Township was convinced by an e-mail, received in late June (2021) from a suspect impersonating her employer, to visit local retailers and buy 64 Apple gift cards valued at $100 each, troopers said. At the e-mail’s request, she provided images of the cards and the codes required to unlock them.

Troopers did not indicate if a suspect had been identified. The incident is under investigation.

Alleged possession and drunkenness

The actions of a 35-year-old Audubon man, who was said to be “stumbling and urinating around” a closed business on the 3000 block of West Germantown Pike in Worcester Township, prompted troopers to arrest him Sunday (July 11) on charges of possession of a controlled substance and public drunkenness. He was later scheduled to appear before Magisterial District Justice Albert Augustine in his Harleysville courtroom, they said.

Theft by deception

A quick-thinking 72-year-old man who lives on Main Street in Schwenksville Borough promptly reported a theft by deception to both the state police and his bank. The bank covered the loss, and troopers are investigating the theft, they said.

An unknown individual transferred $2,050 from the victim’s U.S. Bank Reliacard account to an unknown account elsewhere, possibly through a fraud involving the welfare system, they said. The victim spotted the money movement and alerted the bank, which troopers said “credited him the $2,050.” They’re continuing to investigate the theft and its origins.

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