One of the biggest problems that faced Amarillo for quite awhile was the theft of catalytic converters. It's not like it's a crazy expensive part, most of them range in price from $800-1200 a piece. I know, not cheap, but not crazy expensive.

However, people weren't stealing these because they wanted or needed them for their car, and they certainly weren't getting what they cost in a store.

Catalytic converters possess a lot of precious metals that people use for other reasons. Platinum, palladium, and rhodium are all found in them. You may recognize platinum and rhodium from being used for jewelry.

The metals inside catalytic converters are quite valuable and people are always looking for them. That is the reason for all the thefts. People that were stealing these were making a couple hundred bucks per catalytic converter, which is pretty good money for a few minutes of work.

You may have noticed the rash of these thefts has died down quite a bit recently, and that's because a big group that was responsible for them was taken down by police. Now, we have a conviction with one person involved in these thefts.

Tiffany Nicole Read was found guilty of theft of property and sentenced to the maximum 10 years of incarceration for her part in the thefts. Now, she didn't receive that sentence just for stealing the converters.

She had two prior state jail felonies on her record, and because of that, her charges were upped to third-degree felony theft. That increased her maximum time spent in jail. As if that wasn't enough, Tiffany decided she wanted a shot at more time.

After the first day of testimony, Tiffany decided she'd heard enough and decided not to come back for the trial. The trial continued and a warrant was issued for her arrest. Authorities tracked her down the day after the trial had completed and smacked her with a new charge, bail jumping. That is also a third-degree felony.

With this case and others yet to go, it appears the days of our catalytic converters being stolen have come to a screeching halt. Now they know what they could be facing, and something tells me a lot of them don't want to end up in that mess.

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