Catalytic converters a target for thieves

TOMS RIVER - Dozens of New Jersey car owners are burning mad as a car parts theft ring is costing them big bucks right before the holidays.

Police say thieves are stealing catalytic converters, the part that filters pollution from a car's exhaust, from parked cars.

Pete Hynes says he started his Toyota pick-up when he heard what sounded like a bomb going off. It turns out a thief went under Hynes' 2005 Tacoma with an electric saw and cut off the catalytic converter. It's a crime police say was committed in about 20 seconds.

Police say the suspects were selling the parts to a shop in Atlantic County. More than 30 cars have been targeted in what police say was a daylight crime spree at Parkway rest stops, malls and commuter parking lots.

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