Metals

Suspected exhaust thief dies trapped under car – precious metals within catalytic converter likely target

An instance of attempted exhaust theft has resulted in the death of a 40-year-old man in Teluk Panglima Garang, as he was crushed beneath a car due to was is believed to be the failure of a jack stand when he was attempting to remove the component, according to a Bernama report via The Star.

Preliminary investigations found that the deceased and a friend had attempted the theft between 4am and 6am when the collapse of the lift jack occured, Kuala Langat OCPD superintendent Ahmad Ridhwan Mohd Nor told the newspaper. A 32-year-old man local to Teluk Panglima Garang was arrested yesterday morning to aid in investigations under Section 379/511 of the Penal Code.

Exhaust component thefts have occurred in Malaysia recently, with the catalytic converter of a Honda City stolen from the Glenmarie LRT station car park in March this year. More recently in May, the same occurred to a Toyota Prius which was parked outside the owner’s home.

In the cases of the City and the Prius, both were parked in places that were not inappropriate, however it appears that the crimes of opportunity were exactly that – all the thieves needed were a few moments away from the eyes of the public. The catalytic converters are targeted for their contents, namely precious metals such as platinum, rhodium and palladium which are especially valuable when sold to scrap metal dealers.

These components will cost a pretty penny to replace in the event they are stolen; replacement of the part for said Toyota Prius was quoted as RM5,100 at the service centre, according to its owner. While using a public parking space is entirely reasonable, it would be prudent in light of these occurrences of theft to choose lots which are closer to areas of high footfall to deter would-be thieves, where possible.

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