By The Editors
We sometimes joke that WSR is an adjunct of 311 — we get a remarkable array of questions, requests, and complaints. Maybe there’s something to it after all.
An Upper West Sider who preferred to remain anonymous reported to WSR that his car (a 2004 Honda) had been parked on West 81st and Riverside Drive, on the park side, last Friday afternoon.
“I went to use the car on Sunday morning,” he said. “The engine was loud and I could smell the exhaust.”
He left it until Tuesday, and then “cautiously drove it” to his auto repair center, with the windows open to avoid breathing in the fumes.
“They put it on a lift and showed me that my catalytic converter was missing,” he said.
The man reported that the service guy told him they’re seeing lots of catalytic converter thefts, because they contain precious metals that can be sold. According to the Marketplace.org, catalytic converters contain trace amounts of three precious metals: platinum, palladium, and rhodium. In March 2021, they were valued at up to $30,000 per ounce.
It cost the man $1,800 to replace the catalytic converter and sensor. Since his was an an older car with a high deductible, it wasn’t covered by his insurance. The man said he’s concerned it’s going to happen again. But Installing a cover or a lock would cost several hundred dollars more.
The man called the 20th precinct to report the theft, so they were aware that this was happening.
“I was told to call 911, which seemed crazy to me since it wasn’t an emergency, so I called 311 instead.”
He was transferred to 911 and told by the operator that he couldn’t report the theft over the phone and had to have the police come over.
“It wasn’t worth the time, so I dropped it,” he said. “I thought the best way to get the word out was to report it to the press, so I contacted WSR.”