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Thieves steal expensive car parts from auto shop

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Jeff McCraw is in a rough spot. Eight catalytic converters were recently stolen from his auto shop on Pleasant View Road. The parts were taken from vehicles in an outside holding area.

McCraw thinks the thief or thieves walked along the edge of the building to stay out of view of his security cameras, and then cut a hole in his fence.

Catalytic Converters filter your exhaust, and they're expensive to replace. The cost ranges from about $200 to more than $1,000, depending on the car. It cost McCraw more than $10,000 to replace the ones stolen from his shop.

"I have to make an insurance claim. I'll probably get rated. I'll probably have to shop a new insurance policy. There's a deductible. There are customers who's cars are now going to be delayed," he said. "There's a whole bunch of headache involved."

This kind of theft has happened at least five times in two weeks at businesses in Northeast Memphis and Bartlett.

Joey Barton is a manager at Barton's Car Care in Midtown. He says thieves start by crawling under the vehicle, typically with a power saw.

"They're laying on their back. They make one cut there, one cut there and the whole thing just drops out," Barton said. "In and out in a couple minutes."

Police haven't made any arrests, but MPD does have a lead. One suspect was caught on camera when he hit a company vehicle parked behind a business on Spicer Cove.

McCraw hopes everyone involved is caught.

"They'll get theirs," McCraw said.

It's easy to know when the catalytic converter is missing because your car will sound really loud when you drive it. If the catalytic converter from your car is stolen you should replace it soon. Barton says not having one can lead to serious engine damage.

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