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A CAR mechanic stole at least 84 catalytic converters from parked cars in Alicante province with precious metals from the units sold off to a German company.
Vehicles were plundered in Albatera, Catral, Crevillente and Elche with the Guardia Civil launching Operation Kataliz such was the large number of thefts being reported to them from early April.
Officers discovered the thefts were carried by just one man, 46, who knew how to quickly and silently remove a converter from under a vehicle.
He was looking to make money from the valuable precious metals within them like palladium, rhodium and platinum.
His collaborator was a 63-year-old owner of a Crevillente waste management company who would buy the catalysts for export to Germany.
The Guardia arrested both men at the firm while they were concluding their latest piece of business.
30 of the stolen catalysts valued at €30,000 were removed from the site and have been returned to their owners.
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