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CHICO, Calif. - “It would be nice to see it more secure up here,” avid disc golfer Dave Piper said.
After spending a few hours playing with his friends, he came back to his car and noticed something off.
“We got off the course at around 11 o’clock and I started up the car and it made a really funny, loud sound,” he continued.
That is because someone stole his catalytic converter.
And he is not alone.
Others have experienced the same trouble in the parking lot of the Peregrine Point Disc Golf Course in Upper Bidwell Park.
I spoke with Service Manager Jonathan Chace at Precision Auto Repair about why people would want to steal these car parts.
Chace said, “They have an expensive metal in them. This expensive metal is really hard to find and the easiest way to find it is in a catalytic converter.”
The two extremely valuable metals are platinum and palladium.
On eBay, a 1-ounce bar of palladium is worth nearly $3,000.
Since the parking lot is far from the course, it has become a spot for not only car break-ins, but for stealing these converters.
Piper noted, “There is a telephone pole so if we could just get a camera up there and out of reach and just have a way to monitor it, that would do a lot to deter crime in this area and you wouldn’t have to send a police officer up here as often.”
With no supervision in sight and with the increase in catalytic converters being stolen, Chace says to double check with your insurance company to make sure you’re covered in the event this happens to you.
Action News Now did reach out to chico police to ask about this uptick and have yet to hear back.