Thieves steal catalytic converters from 10 cars at dealership in Pontiac

Oakland County Sheriff's deputies search for Pontiac crooks caught on camera

Published On: Mar 06 2013 06:14:19 PM EST   Updated On: Mar 06 2013 06:26:54 PM EST
PONTIAC, Mich. -

Sheriff's deputies in Pontiac are searching for a criminal who stole catalytic converters out from underneath 10 cars at a local dealership.

The criminals were caught on camera drilling into the cars on the lot at Woodward Auto. The video shows a man cross the railroad tracks near the dealership, and cut a hole through the fence using a battery powered saw.

Since December, thieves have broken into the lot four different times.

"The Durango's gone. The Chevy one-ton is gone. The F-350 Ford is gone, " said business owner John Mihelich.

He took even precaution he could to keep the criminals out by installing a security system, razor wire and he even put screws at the top of the fence.

Mihelich blames local scrapyards for the crimes saying they are the ones buying the stolen goods.

"If they would stop the need at the scrapyard for the converter there would be no value," said Mihelich.

This crime is growing in Oakland County. Law enforcement agencies report 466 catalytic converters stolen in the previous 12 months. That's compared to 220 taken the year before that.

Pontiac's two scrapyards are working with law enforcement to stop these crimes, but the metal can be taken far away and sold at lots not cooperating with police.

"Time and time again, it's a slow death for a small business man today," said Mihelich.