Tulsa Police arrested a woman accused of stealing a catalytic converter off a car at an auto shop.
Police said when Tara Phillips realized she left her wallet and phone behind, she tried to trade the catalytic converter to the business to get her stuff back.
Investigators said ten years ago, thieves were stealing the copper out of streetlights to sell. They said now, they are getting hammered with people stealing catalytic converters.
Police said when Phillips returned to the business to get her things, including her ID, the business owner refused and called police.
Officers said they found Phillips at a nearby motel and she was arrested on 27 misdemeanor warrants. Police said they found saws and saw blades in Phillips motel room, which are used to cut off catalytic converters. Investigators said each time a catalytic converter is stolen, it costs the victim anywhere from $2,000 – $4,000 to replace.
"They tend to target these big box trucks, like U-Haul’s and church vans, things they can get under easily with the saws and cut them out. The bigger the vehicle, the bigger the catalytic converter, the bigger the pay day,” said Lieutenant Jeff Edwards with Tulsa Police Mingo Valley Street Crimes Unit.
Phillips was arrested for grand larceny and other charges but has bonded out of jail.