Chevrolet Cavalier owners in and/or around Naperville, Illinois better watch
their backs their cars’ catalytic converters — because a whopping seven of the devices were stolen during the late-evening and early-morning hours of Monday and Tuesday in a single area near the city’s northwest side. That’s right folks, someone stole a whopping seven “cats” from equally as many Cavaliers.
Originally introduced in 1975 to U.S. automobiles, catalytic converters reduce the toxicity of gasoline-powered engine emissions, keeping the vehicles in compliance with air pollution standards set out by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Theft of the devices isn’t new, as they contain small amounts of precious metals palladium, platinum and rhodium. Just how precious are these metals? Well, an ounce of rhodium went for $6,500 on the black market nearly seven years ago.
What’s peculiar about this particular turn of events is that the seven “cats” were stolen from Cavaliers — a model that’s has been out of production for over a decade — representing a compact Chevrolet sedan from three generations ago (Cavalier, Cobalt, Cruze).
“I wouldn’t want to speculate as to why that is happening,” said GM spokesperson Alan Adler in discussing the possibilities behind the seemingly targeted burglaries.
Naperville Sgt. Lou Cammiso said the thefts took place Monday and Tuesday and involved Cavaliers products from the late 1990s to the mid-2000s. Owners whose cat has been stolen will instantly recognize the device’s absence, since a vehicle sounds noticeably louder upon start-up and acceleration compared to a car with a catalytic converter. What’s worse, replacements can be quite pricey: in 2007, they cost more than $1,000.
The Naperville Sun instructs those who believe to have information about any of the Cavalier-related thefts to call Naperville police at 630-420-6666.
The GM Authority Take
Well, looks like there’s a cat-burgler on the loose. But why is the thief targeting the Cavalier? Our guess is that the thief has found an easy way of removing them from the vehicle, thereby being able to “grab and run” quickly and easily. Oh the crazy, wild, and wacky world we live in today…