As part of a coordinated police operation in the Megara, Zephyrio and Ano Liossia districts and carried out by ΕΛ.ΑΣ. of the Megaron Division, in cooperation with the West Attica Police Department, Zephyrio and Fili Departments, as well as the OPKE outfit, 2 members of a gang were arrested who were involved in stealing catalysts from parked cars.
Earlier, two other local residents, members of a criminal group, were detained in the Goody area by officers of the Immediate Response Police (DI.AS Group) while stealing a catalyst from a parked car. Co-accused in the same case are four more local residents who have been identified and are on the wanted list.
According to the investigation, the indicated defendants created a criminal group, whose members, fulfilling different roles, systematically committed theft of catalytic converters from vehicles, mainly in the regions of Western Attica.
As it was established during the investigation, the criminals moved in rented vehicles, in groups of three or four people, each time with a different composition and with predetermined roles (the driver of the vehicle, the criminal and the person “standing on the line”). The gang operated at night and early in the morning in residential areas.
The members of the criminal group had the know-how and the necessary equipment (jack, electric screwdrivers, etc.), which made it possible to quickly and silently remove the catalysts. It was noted that the attackers “hunted” for specific brands of cars, as their neutralizers had “increased prices”.
During the search, the following were found and seized:
23 catalysts; air gun; 6 mobile phones; mobile phone cards; 150 euros; expensive watches.
To date, as a result of the preliminary investigation, 27 cases of theft of catalysts have been investigated, the cost of which exceeds 60,000 euros. Those arrested were taken to the Athens Prosecutor’s Office.
As you know, automotive catalytic converters are a very valuable “commodity”.
They contain precious metals, so robbers “hunt” them to enrich themselves.
The two key components found in the catalyst are silver and palladium. On the black market, a kilogram of silver costs about 500 euros (can be obtained from 100 catalysts, according to zougla.gr).
As for palladium, its cost per kilogram is much lower, ranging from 50 to 70 euros per kilogram. About 10-12 kg of palladium can be obtained from 100 catalysts.
Another metal used in catalyst construction is rhodium. Special feature: its kilogram costs more than 300,000 euros. The “job” of rhodium is to reduce emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere. It is a rare chemical element that has a very high value, but the amount used in each catalyst is negligible. For example, out of 100 catalysts, you can get only one gram.
The value of everything that contains an automobile catalyst is quite great. Therefore, criminals are constantly developing operations to steal this type of spare parts.