CUMMING, Ga. — Three cars parked at Northside Hospital-Forsyth had their catalytic converters cut off.
The catalytic converter is an emissions-control device that contains precious metals that act as catalysts.
When hot exhaust enters the converter, a chemical reaction occurs that renders toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, into less harmful emissions.
The cars — all Honda Element models — were in the parking deck of the hospital, according to Cumming Police incident reports.
At about 11 a.m. July 12, a victim said he parked his silver 2000 Honda Element in the middle of the parking lot next to the hospital’s entrance, 1200 Northside Forsyth Drive.
When he came back about 2 p.m., he said he saw the catalytic converter, valued at $500, missing.
To replace the catalytic converter, the victim may incur about $2,000 in repair costs.
On the same day, two hospital employees also had their catalytic converters stolen.
One employee said she parked her car at about 7:30 a.m. When she came back at about 5 p.m., her car made a loud noise. She drove it home and had her husband look at the car.
He told her the catalytic converter was cut and missing.
The other employee parked her Element in the parking deck about 7 a.m. and returned about 8 p.m.
When she turned on her car, it made a loud noise and she confirmed her catalytic converter was gone.
Police are reviewing security footage for possible suspects.
Car repair shops say thieves typically target Honda CRVs and Element models in addition to trucks and other cars that sit higher from the ground.
That’s because thieves can slide underneath without having to jack up the vehicle to gain access to the converter. The catalytic converter can be stolen in less than a minute.
Thieves typically sell the platinum in the catalytic converters for $100 to $200.