‘Most Valuable Metal On The Planet’ Stolen In Upstate New York
New York State Police arrested five people in the Hudson Valley accused of stealing the "most valuable metal" on Earth.
Just before Christmas, New York State Police arrested five alleged catalytic converter thieves. All four are Empire State residents.
"Most Valuable Metal" On Earth Found Stolen In Hudson Valley, New York
On December 20, 2022, the New York State Police arrested Robert E. Perez, age 41, 39-year-old Tonya T. Perez, Lucinda M. Rideout, 51, and 29-year-old Crawford J. Boice, all of Schodack, New York, as well as 45-year-old Ross E. Hendrick of Castleton on Hudson, New York, for Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 4th degree, a class E felony, and Possession of Burglar Tools, a class A misdemeanor.
Boice was also charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 7th degree and Robert Perez for an outstanding arrest warrant for Petit Larceny, both class A misdemeanors.
Robert Perez was arraigned in the town of Claverack Court and was remanded to Columbia County Jail without bail. The four others were all issued appearance tickets returnable to the town of Canaan Court on January 12, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.
Alleged Catalytic Converter Thieves Arrested in Columbia County, New York
Troopers stopped a 2000 Ford Crown Victoria matching the description of a vehicle used in the theft of catalytic converters in Canaan, New York around 5 p.m., police say.
The investigation determined the occupants possessed two stolen catalytic converters and multiple tools to cut them from vehicles, according to New York State Police.
About 3.3 grams of fentanyl was also allegedly located in the vehicle.
Why Catalytic Converters Called The "Most Valuable Metal" On Earth
The metal found in Catalytic converters is called "the most valuable metal on the planet."
"More valuable than silver, gold, platinum, or even jewelry," Andrew Robinson continues in the Scientific American article. "Rhodium is a key ingredient in every car sold in the United States since around 1975. It’s part of a system that cleans out pollutants and prevents them from entering the atmosphere. And it’s also the reason why thieves across the U.S. are sawing off catalytic converters in order to get their hands on a few precious grams of the world’s most valuable metal."
Searches about why the metal in a catalytic converter is valuable saw a 5,000 percent increase in the past year, according to Scientific American.
More valuable than silver, gold, platinum, or even jewelr
In 1970, Congress passed the “Clean Air Act.” The act called for a 90 percent reduction in automobile emissions. That's when researchers developed what is the modern three-way catalytic converter.
"The converter itself sits just behind the exhaust manifold and before the muffler. Its purpose: to reduce 3 harmful types of emission: carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons (or unburned fuel), and nitrous oxides. The converter on regular fuel vehicles is simple: a stainless steel shell surrounds a ceramic honeycomb monolith— that monolith is coated with three important precious metals: platinum, palladium, and rhodium," Robinson adds.