RADNOR TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — The search is on for two men police say were seen on camera stealing catalytic converters from vehicles. The parts can bring in some quick cash, but officers say it’s not the only way these suspects were looking to get rich.
It’s before 6 Friday morning, and these guys are already up to no good.READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Body Of Missing 26-Year-Old Casey Johnston Recovered, Believed To Have Been Killed In Crash, Authorities Say
One man will act as a lookout while the other saws a catalytic converter off the undercarriage of this motor home.
Radnor Police say the pair scored three — two from Ken Norcini’s parking lot and a third catalytic converter down the street.
“The more platinum and rhodium that’s in the catalytic converters, the more they’re worth. It’s fast money,” Norcini said.
Investigators say catalytic converters are hot. Thefts in Philly have doubled from this time last year.
The precious, expensive metals in them help in the emissions process.
Stealing them comes down to a little know-how, speed, and the expectation of quick cash.
“This is a big thing going on right now. It’s not just these two guys. There’s multiple crews in the tri-state area. They operate in two,” Radnor Detective TJ Schreiber said.READ MORE: Man Cleaning Gun, Shoots And Kills 22-Year-Old Girlfriend In Bustleton, Philadelphia Police Say
That’s the eardrum-piercing blast of an engine without a catalytic converter. Vince Friedel just bought these wheels and had hoped to take a road trip.
“Frustrated and angry that somebody would go ahead and do something like this,” Friedel said.
After the pair of thieves were finished making their quick work at the auto shop, they went down to a 7-Eleven, where they were again caught on camera.
Police say both suspected thieves spent nearly half an hour inside the convenience store, hoping to get rich. We’re told they were playing the lottery.
“Maybe they had some money in their pocket and trying to get lucky but they did spend a considerable amount of time in there,” Schreiber said.
Meanwhile, Norcinia and Friedel think those in the business of cutting off converters should have to reinstall them as punishment.
“He would love to have these guys come here and have these guys put this thing back together again,” Friedel said.MORE NEWS: Colts' Carson Wentz Choosing Rest, Rehab For Foot Injury, Remains Out Indefinitely
If you know either man, Radnor Police want you to drop them a line.