Police search for suspected catalytic converter thieves who stole from Twelve Oaks Mall parking lot

NOVI, Mich. (WXYZ) - Novi police need your help finding the people who stole catalytic converters from shoppers' cars at Twelve Oaks Mall.

Investigators say the crooks cruised around the parking lot on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 26 and stole six catalytic converters in a one hour span.

"They used some sort of saw. Each incident took only 10 to 15 seconds," says Det. Sgt. Matthew Conquest.

Novi police say the suspects sawed off a few catalytic converters and went inside the mall, but came back out and stole some more catalytic converters.

Kathy Alverson remembers the parking lot was crowded, but she didn't notice anything unusual until she started her car.

"I turned it on and heard loud noise. I knew something was wrong," says Alverson. "I looked under the car and saw part of my pipe dragging on the ground. I realized it was sawed off in two places. I realized my catalytic converter had been stolen."

Novi police say catalytic converter theft is on the rise everywhere.

"I don't know if you can chalk it up to desperate times, but it's a crime plaguing metro Detroit.  They steal them for the metal and scrap them. The scrap value is anywhere from 25 to 50 bucks on average," says Det. Sgt. Conquest.

Meanwhile, Kathy Alverson had to spend more than $400 to get her car fixed.

"It's sad that people are going to have to steal those to make a living," she says.

If you have any information on the identity of the suspects, please call Novi Police or Crime Stoppers at       1-800 SPEAK UP.

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