Police: Dozens of catalytic converters stolen from scrap yard in Oceanside
More than four dozen catalytic converters were stolen from an Oceanside scrap yard, adding to the rash of similar thefts across Long Island.
Police say two people broke into Novak Auto and stole 50 catalytic converters that were stored in two bins.
Pam McDonough, of Farmingdale, says her neighbor had his catalytic converter stolen.
"It was close to 3 o'clock in the morning," says McDonough. "As soon as he went up the stairs into the bedroom, he heard sawing and they were gone, and they took the converter."
Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder says there has been a recent rise in cases of stolen catalytic converters.
"We had 385 of these thefts where they cut them off the bottom of the car," says Ryder. "This year to date, I have 149, so I'm going to far exceed last year's number unless I get it stopped as soon as I can."
Jim Schledorn, of Willie's Service, says people are stealing them because there are precious metals in the converters.
"They have platinum, palladium, rhodium in them," says Schledorn. "They're all very expensive. You can scrap them for a couple of hundred dollars."
Ryder says patrols have been stepped up. He says the department is also using plain clothes officers to help nab the thieves.
Car owners say it could cost more than $1,000 to replace the stolen catalytic converters.
News 12 reached out to Suffolk County police, but they were unable to provide any stats on catalytic converter thefts.