Video appears to show thieves after certain car part at local repair shop

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CLEVELAND -- Caught on camera.

Suspected thieves, apparently looking for quick cash, stealing parts from cars waiting to be serviced. It’s the second time one repair shop has been hit this year.

"You'll see them throwing tools. There are some of the tools, some jack handle. There's the guy. There's the converter, another converter," said Mike Cander as he describes the video.

Surveillance cameras capture what appears to be three men stealing catalytic converters from three cars at Best Buy Tire and Automotive Service on Superior Avenue in Cleveland Saturday morning.

"My son told me-- he came up here to check on the car and told me that they had gave me a brand new catalytic converter cause somebody stole three catalytic converters off my car and two other cars," said car owner, Jean Whitley.

"We went to move a couple of our vehicles in to work on them and you heard the loud exhaust, so you look underneath and you see the catalytic converters are missing. We knew right away," said manager, Doug Novosel.

According to the video, the thefts happened around 6:30 in the morning, about 90 minutes before the shop was scheduled to open.

Cleveland police told FOX 8 News a police report was filed and they are investigating.

A catalytic converter removes impurities from a vehicle's exhaust. Thieves usually take them to sell as scrap.

"Take 'em to the scrap yard, you know, they're probably getting anything from 75 to 150 dollars apiece for them," explained Novosel.

According to managers at Best Buy Automotive service, the video appears to show the men casing the parking lot, then one serves as a lookout while another removes the converter.

The repair shop replaced the stolen catalytic converters for the customers free of charge. Managers hope the video can help catch the men responsible.

"You would just hope that the scrap yards are taking note of who's turning them in and if you have to have IDs, hopefully they can catch some of these individuals because it's costing a lot of money," said Novosel.

Managers plan to show the video to Cleveland police detectives.

They also said they will give free tires, up to $500, as a reward to the person who can help catch the thieves.

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