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Police Catch Pair Allegedly Stealling Car Parts; One Escapes

COLUMBUS (Derek Drake) -- Columbus Police arrested one person and are looking for another after the pair were allegedly stealing parts off of cars.

Undercover officers were monitoring an area on S High Street when they saw two people attempting to steal parts from cars.

Detectives believe they were targeting the catalytic converters on the vehicles at Aleks Auto Sales located in the 1800 block of S. High Street around 4:00 am on June 21, 2013.

When police approached the suspects they both took off running. One person was caught while the other is still on the loose.

ABC 6/FOX 28 Reporter Mike McCarthy reported officers locating a vehicle believed to belong to one of the suspects with a radio and at least 3 car catalytic converters.

Thieves target catalytic converters due to the high price metals that are found within them. The converters contain trace amounts of platinum, palladium and rhodium which speed chemical reactions to help clean the vehicle's emissions.

According to a catalytic converter theft prevention website, these parts are stolen, sold to a scrapper or metal refiner who can extract the precious metals to resell them at near market value (current values via the Kitco Gold Index -- Platinum: $1,353/oz; Rhodium: $1,175/oz; Palladium: $662/oz).

Columbus Division of Police detectives continue their investigation into Friday morning's events. Charges are pending the outcome of that investigation.

If you have any information regarding this investigation please contact Columbus Police at 614-645-4545 or leave an anonymous tip with the Central Ohio Crimestoppers at 614-645-TIPS.
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