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Rash of catalytic converter thefts in Fox Valley

TOWN OF MENASHA, WI (WTAQ) - At least some of Wisconsin's small towns have seen a rash of thefts of catalytic converters from cars and trucks. 

It used to be mostly a big city problem, but Jason Weber of the Menasha town police department says his officers have seen a number of catalytic converter thefts in the past few weeks. 

The devices maintain clean auto emissions. 

Weber tells the Appleton Post-Crescent the thieves can get $150 in scrap metal for each converter -- but it costs the victims over $1,000 to replace them. 

One used car dealer in Menasha said he's been hit with three catalytic converter thefts. He didn't know one was gone until a customer took a test drive -- and the vehicle was surprisingly loud. 

Police Lieutenant Colette Jaeger of the town of Grand Chute says SUV's and trucks are more likely to be hit, because the engines are higher off the ground, and thieves don't have to squeeze underneath the vehicles to get the units. 

She asked scrap metal dealers to be leery of anyone bringing in several catalytic converters at a time. She also said people should watch more closely for thieves.