Coney catalytic converter criminals caught on camera in Detroit

At $500 to $1,000 a pop, replacing a catalytic converter isn't cheap but a Detroit man said he not only had to do it once, he had to do it twice after thieves targeted his SUV twice in three days. But they didn't get away clean.

Maurice Armstead delivers food to Deluxe Coney on 7 Mile. It was lunchtime on Thursday and he stopped in at 12:20. That's apparently prime time to steal.

"Two minutes. They were in and out and gone," Armstead said. "These guys are dangerous and they are quick too this is senseless."

His Ford Escape was parked outside as he was making his delivery. The suspects backed up their own Ford, a Focus, right next to his. They hopped out and stole the catalytic converter, likely for scrap metal.

"I guess the guy slid under the car while the other guy looked in to see if anybody was coming by the time he got back to the car they were pulling up and gone," Armstead said.

Then someone did it again.

On Valentine's Day, he was at the Family Dollar on State Fair to pick up some dog food when thieves came knocking again.

"Two cars in three days two different cars this is ridiculous these guys got a racket going," he said.

He's not alone. While FOX 2's Robin Murdoch was working on this story, several people came up to tell their own stories. Eugene Wells said her mom was at church when she was target.

"She was in church. She came out and noticed her car had a loud sound when she pulled off and found a saw where she had been parked and her catalytic converter had been sawed off," Wells said.

For Armstead, he has hope the suspects in the coney catalytic converter crime can get caught: they were on camera. The surveillance video shows the suspects in the act, now police just need someone else to act by turning them.

Police say there are a couple things you can do to decrease the chances of this happening to you: Park in a secure lot, or somewhere that's well lit and if at all possible next to a light with a motion detector. 

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