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Metal thieves are now targeting car owners and stealing catalytic converters for the platinum inside.

There have already been at least six thefts in Oxfordshire in the past three months, but others may have gone unreported.

A catalytic converter can net the thief up to £120 because it contains much sought-after platinum and other precious metals.

Det Insp Andy Nicklin said: "They are part of the wider issue of metal thefts and so far we have had a small number of catalytic converters being stolen in Oxfordshire.".........

The converters have up to 3g of platinum as well as other precious metals including palladium and rhodium.

The cost of platinum has trebled in the past 18 months and now stands at £1,000 an ounce



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This has been happening in the USA on quite a serious level for around 18-24 months now. So much so infact, that all back pipes and boxes are now welded on to stop people from taking them off.

Generally organised gangs are taking them and have very clever and quick ways of getting what they want. I doubt it will be long before we will be catching the grainy faces of dodgy exhaust stealers on low quality CCTV here to!

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