A Denton County car dealership is offering a big reward for the thief who is stealing catalytic converters from pickup trucks on its lot.
Classic Dodge of Corinth's lot just off Interstate 35E on the Denton-Corinth border has been broken into twice in the past month or so. Both times, the intruders stole several catalytic converters from Dodge Ram trucks.
Rick Wick, general sales manager, said a simple design allows the converter to be removed easily.
"Six bolts, the converter's out, and they're gone," he said.
The dealership is offering $10,000 for an arrest and conviction in the case, Wick said.
Corinth Police Lt. Jimmie Gregg said catalytic converters contain precious metals such as platinum, rhodium and palladium.
Thieves often sell them on the black market or on Craigslist because most scrapyards have measures in place to prevent buying stolen goods, he said. If someone finds a place to sell them, they payoff is generally not that much, he said.
"They're getting anywhere from $40 to $100 for these a piece," he said.
But the dealership's cost to replace them is much more.
"You look at a loss of $54,000 up to $84,000," Wick said. "It makes the vehicles unable to sell, and I can't get the parts. Right now, there's over 300 back-ordered with Chrysler."
Wick said he hopes the reward will lead to an arrest. The parts don't have serial numbers to trace.
Gregg said precious metal theft, especially of platinum, has become a nationwide problem over the last few years.
Anyone with information on the Corinth or other thefts is asked to call the local police department.