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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rblalexander View Post
    What is a scrap catalytic converter worth in the US? Is this really an epidemic of theft? Seems crazy to me.

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
    My friend was just offered $1200 for the cat off his truck that he's about to sell.

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    My understanding is any scrap yard caught with any railroad stuff must show paperwork documenting where it came from and who with they have it. Some thing like one railroad spike or a foot of rail. If they cannot it is a federal crime of interfering with interstate commerce. The FBI and railroad police will go after the yard forcing it to show the legal source of every piece of metal it took in. If it lacks such records for less then seven years it will be bankrupt.
    Scrap yards will not take such stuff for free. Copper wire should be under the same laws since elctricity is inter tied across state lines. Someone did get caught taking wire from the local airport landing lights. They got federal time.
    Bil lD

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    scrap yard laws vary by state.
    In my state, Washington, they require picture ID and for anything over 25 bucks they write you a check, not pay in cash. It works pretty well to cut down on a lot of stolen stuff. But there are always scrap guys that will break the law.
    As I understand it, most of the stolen cat converters are not sold locally, but mailed to a couple of states with very loose laws.
    They will send you the box, and pay the postage, and send you $200 to $500 each.

    So the need for ONE national law seems pretty obvious to me. The death penalty hasnt deterred many people from doing much of anything, from my reading of history, particularly with junkies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    My understanding is any scrap yard caught with any railroad stuff must show paperwork documenting where it came from and who with they have it. Some thing like one railroad spike or a foot of rail. If they cannot it is a federal crime of interfering with interstate commerce. The FBI and railroad police will go after the yard forcing it to show the legal source of every piece of metal it took in. If it lacks such records for less then seven years it will be bankrupt.
    Scrap yards will not take such stuff for free. Copper wire should be under the same laws since elctricity is inter tied across state lines. Someone did get caught taking wire from the local airport landing lights. They got federal time.
    Bil lD
    In theory that should stop it, in the real world without enforcement, not so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    In theory that should stop it, in the real world without enforcement, not so much.
    True, and the enforcement would need to be against the scrap yards- who have business licenses, fixed addresses, and something to lose. Much easier than frisking every homeless guy. And, it doesnt taked armed police to audit a scrapyard once a year, just an admin employee. Cheaper, easier to hire, and it would work just fine. I have been audited twice over the last 20 years by the State for basic sales tax use- somebody comes over, they spend a couple hours looking at your books. Each employee like that earns the state about 20 times their yearly salary, and doesnt need handcuffs or a glock or a uniform.
    Functioning States do this, because they realize not only does it save literally millions from thefts that result in high priced stuff being sold for scrap, but it makes money in taxes and fines that law abiding businesses would not incur.

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    It's interesting how the government can enforce very effectively minor laws that generate revenue for the government, yet the government is all but incapable of enforcing major laws which don't generate revenue.

    I take exception to the idea that any government employee 'earns' money for the government. That's akin to saying Gino earns money for Don Geppetto every time he kneecaps someone.


    In any case, my idea is still the best - very low cost, and very effective.

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    How would a once a year audit catch anyone? Beater shitbox car rolls into yard dragging its muffler it is so overloaded, they unload a thousand or 2 pounds of rusty spikes and tie plates that gets shoved into the short iron pile, hour later that pile is loaded into semi trucks headed for the furnace 30 minutes away. There are laws, there are cameras, you have to have an ID card on file to sell metal, without an enforcement person standing there watching, nothing will change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lanso View Post
    The MATCO Tools guy just showed me the Exhaust Tail Pipe Cutter MST80B and said that is what the thieves use.
    My reason for knowing what tools are used will help me protect my truck.
    oh, THAT'S why you are asking!

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    and i can't recycle the 400' of burst 3/4 copper tubing from the last freeze because i don't have a
    plumber's licence... or the hundreds of feet of 2 and 2-ought wire i don't need.... no electrician's license.

    but i could easily rob platinum from cars?

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  12. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmatiangirl61 View Post
    How would a once a year audit catch anyone? Beater shitbox car rolls into yard dragging its muffler it is so overloaded, they unload a thousand or 2 pounds of rusty spikes and tie plates that gets shoved into the short iron pile, hour later that pile is loaded into semi trucks headed for the furnace 30 minutes away. There are laws, there are cameras, you have to have an ID card on file to sell metal, without an enforcement person standing there watching, nothing will change.
    First- mild steel is not a big issue. Its more work, and gas, to steal a thousand pounds of steel than its worth, for most people.
    The issue is non-ferrous- copper cables, cat convertors, bronze statues- stuff that is worth hundreds, or thousands, at scrap- and if they had actual ID and addresses for all of that stuff, It would be obvious in an audit who the big sellers were- and what they were selling.
    Generally, what happens when the scrap yard enforces ID and pays by check, is that it discourages thieves because its a hassle.

    But the main assumption I am making, which I guess is only based on my personal experience, is that most of the scrappers I have dealt with were pretty honest. They routinely turn away obviously stolen stuff, and wont buy railroad steel, for example.

    I had a case a few years ago where I had a bunch of stainless drops from waterjet cutting that the waterjet cutting shop had on a pallet in front of their unit, in and industrial park. A ton or so was stolen, and taken to the local scrapyard, who actually called up the waterjet cutter and said- Is this stuff yours? They also called the cops. Who, using the ID and check, busted the thief. The cops called me, and told me I had to wait a month or so to get it back, because it was evidence.

    My local scrap yard, who I have dealt with for 25 years, is family owned, and honest.
    In my area, pretty much all the old fly by night drunken rednecks, who operated scrapyards back in the 60s, are long gone. Real estate prices, and the expense of being efficient enough to feed the Nucor mill has long since driven em out. I knew one guy who held out til he was about 90, but that was a while ago. Around here, to pay the real estate taxes, and employee taxes, you actually have to be a decent businessman- you need to turn over the scrap pretty quick, and the chinese, who buy most of the non-ferrous, want to buy in 40,000lb increments, presorted. You cant stay in business just sitting in the shack smoking cigars and trying to sell stuff you paid a nickel a pound for 8 years ago for fifty cents a pound today. You need to be running 2 or 3 40,000lb trucks a day to the nearest mill. Thats ferrous, of course.

    Same thing in California, when I worked there for ten years- bigger, more organized yards survived, little one man yards sold the real estate decades ago.

    An audit would catch all kinds of dicey stuff, though. Usually crooked scrapyards are gonna be crooked in many ways, My state does these Business and Occupation tax audits, which catch employee tax abuse, wage theft, skimming, excessive cash sales, and not paying business taxes pretty easily. We are not talking criminal masterminds here. Most recyclers, all of the ones around here, have real bookkeepers, run all the books on a computer, and it would be hard for them to hide having sold ten tons of palladium without records of where it came from.

    again, the main problem with the cats is that they are being mailed to states where there is no state oversight on the purchases. What possible reason is there for a new jersey yard to be buying a hundred cats a month from Oregon, say?

    I guess if you assume everybody in the world is dishonest, and nobody cares, then why even have laws?
    This is a case where some states have figured out laws that work pretty well, others have intentionally NOT done that, and, without a uniform federal law, the criminals have a legal market for stolen goods.

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    When I saw cable saw I thought rock saw in a quarry like this one or bigger. Or the chain saw to cut ship apart for scrap.
    Bill D

    Diamond wire sawing machine for Quarry stone cutting - Manufacture in Korea - YouTube

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    The demise of the grubby guy in his scrapyard is a bad thing, not a good thing. It signals the end of the day when a guy could make a basic living without all the bullshit. The governmental interference drives things toward the fancy operation because that generates more tax revenue for...the government. Essentially, people become servants and wards of the state.

    Now, I know that is awesome because it forces the working man to create wealth which is taken from him and redistributed to the drunk, doped up, lazy, illegal, and generally unproductive who decided it was easier to mooch through life than actually work.

    What I don't get is why all these layers of government sure haven't seemed to slow down the thieves one bit...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    First- mild steel is not a big issue. Its more work, and gas, to steal a thousand pounds of steel than its worth, for most people.
    The issue is non-ferrous- copper cables, cat convertors, bronze statues- stuff that is worth hundreds, or thousands, at scrap- and if they had actual ID and addresses for all of that stuff, It would be obvious in an audit who the big sellers were- and what they were selling.
    Generally, what happens when the scrap yard enforces ID and pays by check, is that it discourages thieves because its a hassle.

    But the main assumption I am making, which I guess is only based on my personal experience, is that most of the scrappers I have dealt with were pretty honest. They routinely turn away obviously stolen stuff, and wont buy railroad steel, for example.

    I had a case a few years ago where I had a bunch of stainless drops from waterjet cutting that the waterjet cutting shop had on a pallet in front of their unit, in and industrial park. A ton or so was stolen, and taken to the local scrapyard, who actually called up the waterjet cutter and said- Is this stuff yours? They also called the cops. Who, using the ID and check, busted the thief. The cops called me, and told me I had to wait a month or so to get it back, because it was evidence.

    My local scrap yard, who I have dealt with for 25 years, is family owned, and honest.
    In my area, pretty much all the old fly by night drunken rednecks, who operated scrapyards back in the 60s, are long gone. Real estate prices, and the expense of being efficient enough to feed the Nucor mill has long since driven em out. I knew one guy who held out til he was about 90, but that was a while ago. Around here, to pay the real estate taxes, and employee taxes, you actually have to be a decent businessman- you need to turn over the scrap pretty quick, and the chinese, who buy most of the non-ferrous, want to buy in 40,000lb increments, presorted. You cant stay in business just sitting in the shack smoking cigars and trying to sell stuff you paid a nickel a pound for 8 years ago for fifty cents a pound today. You need to be running 2 or 3 40,000lb trucks a day to the nearest mill. Thats ferrous, of course.

    Same thing in California, when I worked there for ten years- bigger, more organized yards survived, little one man yards sold the real estate decades ago.

    An audit would catch all kinds of dicey stuff, though. Usually crooked scrapyards are gonna be crooked in many ways, My state does these Business and Occupation tax audits, which catch employee tax abuse, wage theft, skimming, excessive cash sales, and not paying business taxes pretty easily. We are not talking criminal masterminds here. Most recyclers, all of the ones around here, have real bookkeepers, run all the books on a computer, and it would be hard for them to hide having sold ten tons of palladium without records of where it came from.

    again, the main problem with the cats is that they are being mailed to states where there is no state oversight on the purchases. What possible reason is there for a new jersey yard to be buying a hundred cats a month from Oregon, say?

    I guess if you assume everybody in the world is dishonest, and nobody cares, then why even have laws?
    This is a case where some states have figured out laws that work pretty well, others have intentionally NOT done that, and, without a uniform federal law, the criminals have a legal market for stolen goods.
    The operations I'm familiar with are not small, and they are honest, but its a madhouse non-stop river of steel and there is no supervision of exactly what is coming in. The guys working the yard are not rocket scientist material, everything is just scrap. Owner gets into yard frequently, maybe he has been there so long its all just scrap to him, maybe he is turning a blind eye, I don't know. Cameras everywhere, police stop into peruse the yard once a week, but if no one reports a theft, they are not looking for it. I've yet to see them in there pulling sections of rail, tie plates, or spikes, as evidence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rblalexander View Post
    What is a scrap catalytic converter worth in the US? Is this really an epidemic of theft? Seems crazy to me.
    Do a search for 'Catalytic Converter Theft' or 'Catalytic Converter Protection' and you'll be amazed!

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    around north ga it's a"cadillac converter"

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    Quote Originally Posted by tnmgcarbide View Post
    around north ga it's a"cadillac converter"
    Yeah, and when they list it on craigslist, it's usually labeled "For sell".

    Lots of folks in N GA don't visit their local "liberries" very often.

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    I'ts not for the Platinum or Palladium, i'ts the Rhodium that has gone nuts. that WAS the cheaper alternative, but its now 29,000.00 dollars an ounce, yup twenty nine thousand dollars. that's for a troy ounce, 31.1039 grams.

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    The cops can match the cut pattern on a converter to the car it was taken from. However if you open the converter and take out the precious metals they can never prove where they came from. Especially if you melt them down.

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    Despite whats been said about pro scrapyards,have a look on F book,youll see plenty of want ads for converters....if you follow them ,the contact details change every day......The sale of the cats is tied up with ethnic criminal organizations who can export the gear...IMHO ,the theft is closely allied with the car body collectors,small car wrecking yards,small scale scrappies who sell off the back of a truck........ Even major scrapyards are often run by oldtime thieves who have hit the bigtime......doesnt stop them from being involved in thieveing,stolen car export,etc.


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