NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – A recent rash of catalytic converter thefts from automobiles in the Philadelphia suburbs has SEPTA transit police working closely with local police departments to keep a close eye on Regional Rail line parking lots.

The recent arrest of a Bridgeport (Montgomery County) man for allegedly cutting off converters from cars at train station parking lots in Norristown has again heightened awareness of the thefts.

SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch says visible patrols are being increased:

“We feel like we’re doing what we can to try to bump up our presence and let these people who are doing this know that we’re aware of it, and if you go out to a station and you do this, there might be an officer there waiting and you might get arrested.”

Police say the thefts seem to coincide with a bad economy.

Each catalytic converter can bring up to $100 from a scrap dealer because of the small amounts of precious metals inside that can then be resold in some cases for thousands of dollars an ounce.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060

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