Updated: July 29, 2020 10:09 PM
Created: July 29, 2020 08:41 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Albuquerque Public Schools was a victim of a common crime in Albuquerque.
Thieves left behind $150,000 worth of damage after stealing catalytic converters from district buses.
Mechanics across Albuquerque said it's not uncommon for thieves to try and sell catalytic converters.
“It’s a big problem, trust me,” said Abel Mata of AAA Discount Mufflers. "Essentially, they come in for a stolen catalytic converter, this one came in for a stolen cat. In the last two weeks, no joke probably 15 cars."
Mata said he feels for the customers who have been victims of the crime.
“Let's just say you wake up one morning and you have to spend $1,500-$2,000, you'd be upset too,” he said. “I don't blame them."
Mata says it's common for thieves to steal catalytic converters from Hondas, Fords, and Chevrolets.
He said they bring in more money.
"Lately from March, ever since COVID hit, I don't know what it is but precious metals have gone up. so I mean they are just paying a lot more for them," Mata said. "Back five, six years, they weren't paying that much. Now that the prices have gone through the roof, people are stealing them because they can make a quick $200-$300."
Mata said there is not much people can do to stop the thieves.
“I mean short of parking your car inside the garage there's not much you can do really,” he said.
Officials with APS are reviewing security footage, and want the public to call police if they know anything about the thefts.
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