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AZ man facing multiple charges after investigation, highlights national surge in catalytic converter theft

File image: catalytic converter
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An Arizona man is facing multiple theft charges after detectives found a huge stash of stolen catalytic converters packed into a storage unit in Phoenix.

The case highlights a national surge in thefts of the pricey auto parts that play a critical role in reducing vehicle emissions.

The discovery of more than 1,200 of the devices came after a months-long investigation where Phoenix police detectives watched as a man bought and sold the converters.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau says thefts have skyrocketed with more than 52,000 reported stolen last year, up from roughly 4,000 in 2019. They can cost from $1,000 to $3,000 to replace